Tuesday 16 January 2018

Nappy saves the life of little girl after car plunges into a lake

Independent.ie reporters

A TODDLER was saved from drowning by her buoyant nappy when the car she was travelling in plunged into a lake in Hollywood, police have said.

3-year-old Sariyah Michel was a passenger in the back seat of the family car when her parents had a violent row while the car was in motion.

"All of a sudden this little thing popped up like a cork," said Deputy Cazi Navarro, who plucked the little girl from the dark waters of the lake on Tuesday night.

Her father, Sandro Michael, 27, drowned when the car went down. Police say he had a criminal record and had three charges of domestic battery. The girl’s mother, Catherine Copeland, 33, had a barring order out against him at the time of the accident.

Witnesses said they saw the car swerve madly with Copeland driving and Michel assaulting and hitting her as she drove. She lost control of the car and it plunged into the 40-foot lake.

"When our deputies responded to the scene, they couldn't find the couple, but one of our deputies heard a woman screaming for help," an officer said. Copeland was standing on the roof of the sinking car, shouting that she was unable to swim. As she was brought to shore she told officers her daughter was in the submerged car.

“She kept screaming ‘My baby, My baby!’” Navarro said.

As police searched the lake, Officer Navarro spotted the toddler brought to the surface of the water by the plastic of her nappy,

"I saw it was a Pampers, and attached to the Pampers was this little girl," he said.

A diving team later found Michel's body. "They were able to go down to the car and they were able to confirm that he was inside the car and was deceased," police said.

The little girl is being treated in the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, where her condition is critical but doctors expect her to make a recovery. Her mother is at her bedside.

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