New Year’s Eve turned from a fun holiday to a harrowing night for a Utah family on the way to Beaver Mountain when an accident caused their car to slide into the chilly Logan River. Apparently, Roger Andersen was driving with his two children, both under ten years of age, and a friend when he lost control of the car in a section of Highway 89 known for its high accident occurrence. The car fell into the river and while the adults were able to get out of the car subsequently, the two children were apparently stuck inside, with the auto glass windows blocking their egress and their seatbelts strapping them where they were.
Fortunately for the family, the locals passing by the area were quick to help. One particular trio, composed of a former policeman named Chris Willden, was instrumental to the rescue of the pair of trapped children. Willden and his companions, his father as well as his son, immediately jumped to action upon seeing the state of the family and the vehicle, and freed the children from their cage by shattering the auto glass of the rear window with his pistol.
According to Willden, it was necessary to take that measure because there was no other way of accessing the two children inside the rapidly flooding car. Although he and his father—along with the adults with whom the children were travelling—first attempted to open the car doors to extricate the trapped pair, they found that the doors were locked. The problem was aggravated by the rising water in the car, which could well have caused hypothermia for the two children had they been permitted to stay longer where they were. Thinking quickly, the former police officer aimed his pistol downward—to ensure that the bullet would eject without hurting the two persons in the car—and at the window of the vehicle, breaking the tempered auto glass and thus gaining access to the inside of the vehicle.
There Willden managed to cut loose the two children from their seatbelts and extracted them from the flooding vehicle. The unfortunate family in the accident was taken to nearby hospitals soon after, and were pronounced to be in fair condition only recently. While the two children actually started out in the ICU of the children’s hospital to which they were brought, their status was deemed to be vastly improved after medical care was given to them to stave off the possibility of shock or hypothermia. Local authorities are already crediting the quick and efficient rescue of the family to the dozen people who helped, most especially to Chris Willden, for his quick actions in breaking the auto glass to free the pair from the vehicle.
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