Child rescued from Glacier Creek hospitalized with life-threatening injuries

Devin Kelly

A 5-year-old boy was in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after being rescued from the water of Glacier Creek near Girdwood on Friday evening, troopers said.

The incident, which involved multiple agencies and prompted the brief closure of the Seward Highway near Girdwood, began to unfold at 6:27 p.m. Friday. Dispatchers in Soldotna received a frantic call from a mother who said her child had gone missing at the point where Glacier Creek crosses under the Seward Highway.

The circumstances of the boy's disappearance were not immediately clear Friday night. But according to a trooper dispatch posted Saturday morning, the mother told troopers that the boy was standing next to the creek when she turned her back to buckle another child into a car seat.

When she turned back around, the 5-year-old was gone, said Megan Peters, troopers spokeswoman.

The disappearance launched a large-scale ground and water search in the area around Glacier Creek. A small watercraft searched on the water while authorities searched the banks of the creek and the wooded areas, and an Alpine Air helicopter was dispatched, Peters said.

About 7 p.m., the child was found in the area where Glacier Creek runs into Turnagain Arm, Peters said. Paramedics and medical supplies arrived with the Alpine Air helicopter, and CPR began right away, troopers said. The CPR continued until a LifeMed helicopter arrived at about 10 p.m. and took the child to Providence Alaska Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Peters did not have an update on the child's condition as of Saturday evening.

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