On April 29th, as a tornado whipped up the landscape, a family tried to escape from their hometown of Myrtle Springs, Texas, near Dallas. The tornado was causing rapid flooding of the area and Phillip Ocheltree was desperate to leave town with his wife, infant son, and 2-year-old daughter before conditions got even worse.
But their efforts were thwarted when the Ocheltree’s black Chevrolet SUV hydroplaned. It skidded off of the highway and then flipped over, slamming straight into roiling floodwater.
The wickedly fast water was so high above the vehicle’s doors that is made it impossible for Ocheltree to wrench them open.
They were trapped.
Passersby began stopping immediately, and several people plunged into the water to try to rescue the family.
“I need a knife,” one man desperately shouts. “A sharp knife!”
They soon realized that there were children trapped inside.
“I got a baby!” a man shouts out in the video. “Call 911.”
Several men gripped the doors and forced them open. One of the rescuers managed to get the infant out, and started quickly sloshing through the high water to shore. The baby wasn’t breathing, and his face was a bluish grey.
The video below is the raw, unedited footage that was captured by Tom Mitchell, a good Samaritan who stopped to help but was unable to get into the water due to the physical demands of the rescue…
Mitchell slipped his phone in his pocket after the baby was rescued and began administering CPR. The rest of the video goes on without visual for the most part, but you can hear the clashing shouts of panicked voices, prayers, and advice as they work to get the children breathing.
Another rescuer had freed the 2-year-old girl, who was still strapped into her car eat. She wasn’t breathing either, and Mitchell began CPR on her as well.
Finally, she started taking shaky breaths. “She is breathing,” Mitchell says in the video. You can hear relieved voices in the background. “But she’s having trouble,” Mitchell continues on. “She needs oxygen. She’s gasping. And the baby’s bleeding through the mouth.”
Then the video cuts out altogether.
Both children were revived and immediately sent to a nearby hospital, where they were treated.
Per the dad’s Facebook page, his son Marshal “is in excellent condition and is full of life.” Mom and dad were doing fine as well. However, while the toddler (“Addy-bug” as her father calls her) soon was stabilized and started to breathe on her own, she also had a breathing tube in and was under sedation. Her scans and tests were promising, though, so it was a matter of waiting.
Then, Phillip shared this video live on his Facebook page:
Posted by Phillip Ocheltree on Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Ocheltree family. We’re so glad you’re safe and sound!
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.