Toddler killed, mother badly burned in fiery crash on Lloyd Expressway
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Emergency crews were called to a single-car crash in Vanderburgh County on Friday night.
This happened on the eastbound lanes of Lloyd Expressway at Highway 41 slightly before 7:30 p.m.
The Evansville Police Department says the car slammed into the median and burst into flames.
Fire officials say other drivers who were passing by stopped and pulled the driver from the burning vehicle.
They say they found a 20-month-old child in the car after the fire was knocked down. The coroner confirms the child died.
The driver, who was the mother of the child, was taken to St. Vincent’s with 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
Fire officials believe she was later taken to a Louisville Hospital for treatment.
We spoke with one of the drivers who stopped, Jason Buis, of Ferdinand. His son-in-law, Caleb, was another Good Samaritan. He says the fire was so hot it melted Caleb’s hat.
Buis says he stayed with the injured driver while they waited for paramedics.
“She was laying on the ground and I was talking to her, and kind of stroking her hair. She just kept saying ‘My baby, my baby.’ We didn’t know 100% if there was one in the car, but the assumption is there was. I have five kids and a grandkid, so I was thinking, ‘I have to do everything I can to try to get to this child and try to get the child out of the vehicle,’ and you know, the amount of burns that she had, I didn’t know how long we had before she went unconscious. She did go unresponsive before the paramedics got there. I was just kind of dreading being the person there when they told her either the baby was deceased or the baby was okay. The extremes of that emotion would be unbearable,” said Buis.
While speaking with Buis, we received word from the coroner that the child didn’t survive.
“I didn’t think so. The car was.. the paint was bubbling. The windows were cracking. It’s very unfortunate… Gosh.. the back of my mind sitting with her on the side of the road. I just kept thinking. The child was likely in the vehicle. Wow… sad to hear,” said Buis.
The crash closed both east and west-bound lanes of the Lloyd Expressway for about an hour and a half.
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