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High school students lift car to free mom and her 2-year-old son pinned underneath

More than 20 students rushed into a Utah school’s parking lot to save a mother and her child who had been run over by a driver blinded by the sunlight.
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/ Source: TODAY

A group of high school students in Utah ran to the rescue and lifted up a vehicle to help save a mother and her 2-year-old son trapped underneath in a dramatic scene captured on video.

Students at Layton Christian Academy in Layton rushed to the school’s parking lot Dec. 5 after a mother and her two children were hit and pinned underneath a vehicle. A 3-year-old girl was able to free herself, while the mother and her son were still trapped underneath, according to NBC affiliate KSL of Salt Lake City.

“I looked across the parking lot and noticed the car and they were screaming and so I ran over there and I look under the car, and I see mom and child underneath the car pinned. It was split second,” the school’s associate pastor and CEO, Chris Crowder, told KSL. “I immediately just ran into the building because I knew I had to get a lot of people to lift this car.”

Surveillance video shows about 20 students rushing into the parking lot to surround the vehicle and pick it an inch or two off the ground to allow the mother and her son to be pulled to safety. The school is comprised of about 220 domestic students and more than 300 international students, according to Crowder.

“They just heard me yell,” Crowder said. “All these kids from different countries just come running out and lift it up.”

“I think that just shows our togetherness as a school and just how we’re all from different areas,” sophomore Theo Roach told KSL. “We could just know what to do. I think that’s part of God.”

Dominique Childress, a senior airman from Hill Air Force Base in Davis County, Utah, pulled the woman and child to safety after the students picked up the car. Childress was there to pick up his kids when he was alerted to the woman and children in distress by his son’s kindergarten teacher.

“Mom was holding him, and once we were holding the car high enough, she was able (to) get up and kind of hold the car on her back as we were lifting,” he told KSL.

He said the 2-year-old boy’s face was “purple,” but Childress was able to determine he was still breathing. The quick actions of the students helped save the family’s lives.

“They are the purest form of the word hero, and they deserve every single bit of praise and worship that they’ve gotten because what they did was not easy for a teenager to do,” Childress told KSL.

“The kids were heroes, as well as the gentleman that was there and pulled them out,” Crowder said.

Officials said the victims were run over by a driver temporarily blinded by sunlight at approximately 3:45 p.m., according to KSL.

The mother was identified as Bridgette Ponson in a GoFundMe account set up for their medical expenses. Layton Christian Academy officials told KSL she works in the school’s admissions office.

The 2-year-old boy was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. School officials told KSL that the two children are now out of the hospital and did not suffer any serious injuries, while Ponson has been in and out of surgery.

“Something so routine can turn tragic so quickly,” Crowder told KSL. “It’s a miracle. We have just seen God do so many things here, and this is one of them.”