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Mother, Wyo. Trooper Save Trapped Children

A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper helped a mother rescue her children, police said Monday.

The incident occurred on April 25th at about 7 p.m. when Trooper William Kirkman was patrolling south of Casper when he overheard a radio dispatch of an ATV crash on the Ratter Q Ranch on Wyoming 487 about 23 miles south of Casper. The information broadcast was that an ATV had crashed into Bates Creek and flipped upside down pinning two children, ages 3 and 10, under the ATV in water. The dispatcher also said the person calling in was unable to lift the ATV off the children.

When Kirkman arrived on scene, he met the mother of the children. She was wet and covered in mud. She had found her children and had attempted to lift the ATV off them with the help of her 12 year-old son, but they both were unable to move the several hundred pound machine which had gone off a 5-foot drop going into the creek.

Kirkman could hear the children screaming and could see the ATV upside down in the creek resting against a culvert with just the tires and some of the undercarriage visible above the waterline.

Kirkman entered the creek with water and mud up to his waist. He found the children under the ATV with just their chins just above the water line. Walking in the creek was difficult due to the soft mud.

As Kirkman and the mom attempted to lift the ATV they sank deeper in the soft mud.

The two rescuers repositioned themselves, and Kirkman was able to partially lift the ATV and pulled the 3-year-old from underneath the machine handing the child to the mother. Kirkman was then able to free the 10 year-old and carried the child to the creek bank.

Kirkman and a trooper who arrived after the children were rescued from the creek, Jonathan Russell, supplied blankets to all involved as the children were suffering from hypothermia. First aid care for the children was eventually turned over to responding Natrona County Fire District, Wyoming Medical Center and Life Flight personnel.

The 3-year-old was transported by Life Flight to Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, where it was determined the child had a broken leg. The 10 year-old was transported to Wyoming Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The WHP estimated that the children had been pinned under the ATV for as long as 30 minutes.

?Without the heroic efforts of Trooper Kirkman and the mother working as a team to free the submerged children, the outcome may have been much different for this family,? the agency said.

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