Fifth-grader, father help rescue 4-year-old in near-drowning

Jun 6, 2018, 12:25 AM | Updated: 6:41 am

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Police said a 4-year-old girl was in extremely critical condition Tuesday night after nearly drowning in an apartment complex pool.

Fifth-grader Mariangel Hernandez said she spotted the girl at the bottom of the pool, located near 2200 West and 3100 South, before 7 p.m.

“Her head was looking, like, down and then her feet were looking up,” Hernandez explained.

She quickly called to her father, Carlos Hernandez, who jumped into the pool and lifted the girl out of the water.

He attempted to revive the 4-year-old until first-responders arrived.

“(We) got her to throw up a lot of that water, and the officers just grabbed a hold of her and brought her out,” said West Valley City Police Lt. Steve Burke.

Burke said it appeared that the mother knew her daughter was playing in the yard, but may have not known that she had gone into the pool area.

“(She) definitely would have no chance of survival, so (Carlos Hernandez) is a hero today,” Burke said.

Mariangel Hernandez was teary-eyed when asked what her father’s actions meant to her.

“He could save me,” she said. “That girl could have died if he wasn’t there.”

Burke said the girl was breathing on her way to the hospital, but the extent of her injuries remained uncertain.

The accident was the third in recent days involving a child in Salt Lake County, with a 3-year-old Riverton girl dying from her injuries Monday.

Police once again urged families to be careful.

“Keep your kids close,” Burke said.

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Fifth-grader, father help rescue 4-year-old in near-drowning