Darren Doyle, story and photos:
A toddler is clinging to life as a result of a rescue mission tonight on Oak Hill Road after a vehicle stalled in high water and a baby was swept out of his mother's arms in Alexander Creek.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office said the driver of the vehicle, Alexandra Richardson, (28) claimed she didn't see the "road closed" sign as she was headed south on Oak Hill Road when her vehicle went into Alexander Creek, which was over the low water bridge. Richardson reportedly said she tried driving through the high water but her vehicle stalled and it began taking on water.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Richardson told first responders she was able to remove her 20 month-old boy from his car seat and began swimming with him but the child was swept from her arms and she wasn't able to retrieve him. There were conflicting reports on the number of other passengers in the vehicle; however the Sheriff's Office said one other juvenile passenger was able to exit the vehicle safely.
Members of the Chalybeate, Wingfield, and Brownsville Fire Departments were apparently not yet aware of whether or not the child was still in the vehicle when they arrived and several firefighters attempted swimming down to the vehicle to find the child. They later discovered that the child was swept from the mother and then began searching the area around the vehicle.
Several firefighters waded into the frigid waters trying to find the child until the Edmonson County Rescue Squad arrived with a jon boat. They were able to paddle out around 50 feet from the vehicle where they located the child in the water, who was unresponsive. The baby was immediately taken to the hospital by Edmonson EMS where he was being prepared to be air-lifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.
Richardson and her juvenile passenger were transported to the Medical Center and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the accident.