Car flips on side, tot found walking in street

By John Branton , Craig Brown and Eric Florip

Published:

 

Rescuers arrived to a one-vehicle car crash in the Shumway neighborhood Thursday to find the car on its side, a woman trapped inside and a toddler wandering in the street.

The strange crash at East 33rd and F streets was reported about 1:18 p.m., said Firefighter-spokesman Joe Spatz with the Vancouver Fire Department.

It appeared the woman had been driving east when, for an unknown reason, she veered right, hit a sign and then lurched onto the steel guide cables that hold up a utility pole.

“That apparently acted like a ramp and it flipped her car over,” Spatz said.

AMR Northwest ambulance paramedics scooped up the little boy, who was not believed seriously hurt.

The Lexus sedan’s trunk door came open, with newspaper sections and Lego toys spilled onto the pavement.

Firefighters used a set of Rescue 42-brand struts to hold the car in place. The device, fairly recently acquired, has telescoping struts that are held in place by a bottom strap that forms a triangle and prevented the car from rolling, Spatz said.

The driver, a woman in her 30s, was found lying on the passenger-side front door. She wasn’t belted in, but it’s possible she unbuckled herself after the crash.

Firefighters used a Glas-Master-brand saw to cut through the windshield and remove it in less than a minute, Spatz said. They then moved the woman out the windshield opening and into an ambulance.

She and the toddler were taken to a hospital, but their names and medical conditions weren’t immediately available.

The baby had been in a car seat, Spatz said, and it wasn’t clear how he got loose and out of the car.

The accident occurred shortly before shift change and the police report hadn’t been written as of Thursday evening, said Officer Ilia Botvinnik with the Vancouver Police Department.

Any injuries in the crash were thought to be minor, Botvinnik said.