It’s one of those freak incidences that might seem harmless but quickly escalates to a life and death situation in seconds.
Khrystyna Pendorak was driving with her nine-year-old son in the backseat of her SUV when she noticed that he had wrapped the seatbelt around his neck, not once but several times. They were on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at the time.
Pendorak hit the brakes and tried desperately to create some room between the tightly wound seatbelt and her son’s neck while she dialed 911.
She describes the ordeal:
“I put my fingers between the belt and his neck and called 911. I said, ‘Don’t move. Don’t talk. Only breathe.’ Every minute felt like a year. If I had waited one more minute, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Officer Edward Grimm who is the father of two, and his partner Lee Simons arrived at the scene and were startled to see how tightly the seatbelt was constricting Arthur’s neck:
“It was the worst thing I could have seen. The seatbelt was wrapped around the child’s neck, I would say at least eight times. The kid wasn’t talking. He wasn’t moving. He was turning colors. He was turning blue.”
Together the officers carefully but quickly cut the belt with a pocketknife and released the boy from its grip. Said Grimm, “If we didn’t get there in time, this child wouldn’t be alive.”
See at age 9, you would probably think that a kid is safe in a seatbelt in the backseat with mom driving but it still takes only an instant for an active kid, even an older one to get stuck in threatening situation. It also reminds us as parents to reinforce the rules of car safety to our kids, including fooling around in the backseat.
Do you kids ever play around with their seatbelt?
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