Alaska Beat

Baby saved along remote Alaska Highway

on Alaska's Prince William Sound is reporting what almost sounds like a Christmas miracle: A van hurtles off the ice-slicked Richardson Highway into the Lowe River and goes underwater. A nine-month-old strapped into a baby seat in the front is trapped. His mother is thrown to the back of the van by the impact, but somehow gathers her wits about her to fight for her child's life."I had to swim under the middle seat," Tisha Watts told the Star. She struggled beneath the cold water to unhook the seat belt, a task which normally seems so easy but suddenly became so hard. Finally, she freed her son. "The water was so cold his lips were automatically blue," she said. CPR got the baby breathing again, but the mother and baby were still in a perilous situation -- trapped in the water in the back of a van off the pavement on a road that sometimes doesn't have much traffic. Fortunately, Good Samaritans arrived promptly in the form of Valdez family practice Dr. John Cullen and his son, William.They'd seen the crash, rushed to the submerged van, and kicked in the back window after seeing the door handles sheered off. "I just immediately handed them the baby," Watts said. "I do owe him a lot. It was very scary. Obviously, God was with me that day."

Craig Medred

Craig Medred is a former writer for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2015.

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