A Robertsville mother was able to rescue her infant child by kicking out the rear window of the SUV as it was sinking into a lake on Calvey Creek Road Wednesday morning.
According to a Missouri Highway Patrol preliminary report, Heather A. Vaden, 26, Robertsville, was driving a 2011 Lexus SUV in the 5000 block of Calvey Creek Road at 7:15 a.m. when she swerved to miss an animal, possibly a dog, in the roadway.
After overcorrecting, the SUV left the roadway and became submerged in a nearby lake.
Pacific Fire Department Battalion Chief Gary Graf said Vaden was able to pull herself and her infant child from the SUV that had come to rest 50 feet from the shoreline in 6 to 7 feet of water.
Graf said as the vehicle was sinking, Vaden was able to get out of her seat belt and remove the child from its car seat before Vaden then swam to shore and walked about 500 feet to a residence for help.
She was transported to Mercy Hospital, Washington by Meramec EMS with minor injuries.
Graf said the infant was also taken to the hospital by a family member who arrived on scene.
Due to the nature of the call at dispatch, Graf immediately called High Ridge Fire Department to deploy their dive team to the scene.
Other drivers who passed by the scene saw the vehicle in the water and some had entered the water to see if anyone was still in the SUV.
“All you could see was one corner of the luggage rack sticking out of the water,” Graf said. “Once we knew she was out, we still had High Ridge go in the water in their cold weather wet suits to hook up the tow cables to remove the vehicle from the lake.”
The chief added EMS made contact with Vaden at a nearby residence and emergency crews were on scene about an hour and a half.