GROVETON — Trinity County Attorney Colton Hay can add lifesaver to his resume, having come to the aid of an infant following a car crash on May 25.
The wreck occurred on State Highway 94 west of Groveton at about 5 p.m.
According to police reports, the driver, James Christopher Gambrell Jr., 29, was driving his vehicle in an unsafe manner during a rainstorm, hydroplaned, and rolled the vehicle into a ditch.
Hay said he witnessed the event on his way home from work,
“We went over to the car, me and a few other people, and someone hollered, ‘There’s a baby in here,’” Hay said. “I carry a sledgehammer in the car for trailer hitches; we looked, found the child, and broke the back window.”
Hay then called law enforcement officials on his cell phone to report the event.
The car had come to a stop upside down in about a foot of water, with oil and other fluids leaking from the car, reports indicate. Hay, who recently became a father for the first time, climbed into the car to get the baby out.
Hay said the car was filled with many items, such as computers and tools, which made entering the car difficult.
“I shimmy into the car through the back window; the driver was wedged in the car, part in front and part in back,” Hay said. “I got to the baby; it looked to be about a year old. The car seat was flipped over, because it was not attached properly.”
Hay said the child was crying and moving her arms and legs, and had a small abrasion on her cheek.
“I unhooked her as carefully as I could from the seat, cradled her as best as I could, and shimmied out,” he said.
Reports state the child was taken by ambulance to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was arrested for driving with license invalid with a previous conviction, and other charges are pending.
Hay said that with the help of other passers-by who witnessed the crash and stopped to help, they were able to help the child.
“I just had a baby, and holding her was like holding mine, and we got her out and we all were ecstatic,” Hay said. “It was beautiful to see people to come together from all walks of life and save this girl.
“It was an emotional experience,” he said.