DULUTH, Minn. — A toddler will have quite a story to tell one day, a tale that has a happy ending thanks to a Duluth Police officer and a bit of luck.
Police Chief Mike Tusken details on the department's Facebook page how a minivan rolled down a steep hill Thursday afternoon and into a stand of trees. Inside was a 2-year-old girl who was not belted in.
The Star Tribune reports that 27-year-old Megan Newman had parked her minivan near her home and was in the process of taking her twins out of the vehicle after returning from a trip to the aquarium. Newman tried to get the key out of the ignition but found it was stuck. She grabbed her daughter Elena but fellow twin Bella was being "a stinker" and refusing to come out of the van, according to her mom. Megan went to ask a neighbor for help. On a GoFundMe page set up to help with medical expenses related to the incident she describes what happened next.
"When my neighbor yelled 'your car is rolling down the hill!' I felt my heart just stop. It didn’t feel real. I bolted down the hill as fast as I could to get to my baby who was in the car unbuckled and I was waiting anxiously for them to get her out! She was miraculously ok!"
Chief Tusken offered further details in his post, praising one of his officers who jumped in to help while on his way to work. "The van rolls away with one of the toddlers inside and rolling into busy Mesaba Avenue traffic, striking a vehicle and lodging into the trees on the steep hillside below. The van was partially suspended in the trees above the ground."
That's when Officer Todd Simmons clocked in early, driving up on the crash on his way to work. Simmons came upon the crash, called for medical help and then crawled into the smashed-up van, safely removing the toddler.
"A scary and potentially tragic incident fortunately ends with property damage and minor injury," the chief shared.
Bella was taken to a hospital and checked out, surprisingly coming out of the crash with no serious injuries.
The GoFundMe page set up for Megan Newman by one of her friends aims to raise enough to pay for Bella's ambulance ride, medical expenses and a new vehicle for the family.