East Texas First Responders discuss race to save drowning toddle - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas First Responders discuss race to save drowning toddler's life

Video of Rescue (Source: Smith Co Sheriff's Office) Video of Rescue (Source: Smith Co Sheriff's Office)
Brad Clark (Source: KLTV) Brad Clark (Source: KLTV)
Video of Rescue (Source: Smith Co Sheriff's Office) Video of Rescue (Source: Smith Co Sheriff's Office)

We're getting a new look from dash-cam video of a near drowning in an East Texas Lake.

Officials say the incident, involving a 14 month old girl, happened around 4 Sunday afternoon at "Hill Creek Park", by Lake Tyler.

Related: Child transported to hospital after near drowning at Hill Creek Park

Related: Dashcam video released of response to a near drowning in Whitehouse

First responders showed us the video and spoke about the quick response needed to save a life. Game Warden Brad Clark says he is reliving the moments of their race to save a little girl.

"We all arrived here at Hill Creek Park about the same time. Everything is going through your mind, is the person still alive? Are they still conscious? Are they breathing? Is it a child? Is it an adult?" says Clark.

Dash cam video from the Smith County Sheriff's Office shows Clark, EMS and a sheriff's deputy arriving at the scene and moving towards the child, who is blocked from view by a tree.

"As I'm running down here the deputy and EMS are all running down here, EMS personnel took the child immediately to the ambulance," says Clark.

Those moments were vital to saving the girls life.

"I believe it made a big difference," says Clark.

Citizens were also a big part of the rescue. Anita Cantu, who was near the scene, describes her encounter with a man who sprang into action.

"He said y'all know what's going on and I said no, and he's like 'well a little girl was drowning, I mean, she was purple' so he gave her mouth to mouth."

Clark says the girl was in the water, on an inflatable designed specifically for children, when her parents looked away briefly and she fell in to the water.

"It only takes a moment for a weekend to go from fun to tragedy," says Clark.

Clark says the girl was not wearing a life jacket.

"The vast majority of people that drown on the water were not wearing a life jacket," says Clark.

Officials are hoping the incident can be a teaching moment.

"This child is actually the same age as my son, they have the same birthday so…it makes you open your eyes. Nobody is immune to the water," says Clark.

The girl was taken to a Dallas Hospital as a precaution. Game Wardens tell us she is still in the hospital, but is recovering and simply under observation at this point. Tyler Police say no charges are expected in the incident.

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