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Police officers, fire fighters save children from submerged vehicle

SALT LAKE CITY — A vehicle with five occupants landed upside down in the Jordan Surplus Canal after the driver lost control on Saturday, August 8.

The woman and four children, ages 17, 16, 15, and 2, were in the car driving near Indiana Ave. and Delong St., at around 11:00 p.m., when it went into the water.

The driver and two older children were able to escape from the submerging vehicle, but the two youngest were still trapped when several Salt Lake City police officers arrived.

Upon arrival, four officers quickly removed their vests and belts and ran into the water to save the children as the car slipped under the surface. One officer dived into the water several times to enter through a window but was unable to get in due to the murkiness of the water.

“With no thought to personal safety, officers immediately stripped their gear and attempted a daring rescue of these two children,” said Chief Mike Brown. “It was dark. The water was cold. But these officers did not hesitate to come to the aid and work to save lives. I am proud of them.”

Salt Lake City Fire Department arrived and several fire fighters dove into the river to help the rescue efforts. One firefighter was able to use his fire-fighting SCBA to make entry and retrieve the 2-year-old child from the vehicle. Both patients were passed on to waiting Salt Lake City Fire Paramedics and they were able to resuscitate them.

“The rescue of these two children illustrates the dedication of Salt Lake City’s public safety employees. The immediate action of both SLCPD and SLCFD brought both children out of the water and to awaiting medical care,” said Chief Karl Lieb. “Anything less would not have given these kids even a chance of survival. This is what we do. And I am exceedingly proud of our team’s commitment to preserving life – even at great risk to our own.”

The children were transported to an area hospital for treatment.