Woman, toddler die after car careens into Fort Worth pond

Posted Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012  Print Reprints

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Audio: "They lost control and they're in the water"

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FORT WORTH -- A woman and a 22-month-old girl died Thursday evening after their car crashed through an iron fence and ended up in a large pond, where it sank as the driver talked to a 911 operator and bystanders frantically tried to free her.

"We're in the water and I've got a 22-month-old baby and I need some help. ... My doors won't open," the driver told a Forest Hill 911 dispatcher.

"Ma'm, my doors won't open and I've got a baby, and we're going underwater," the driver said before repeatedly screaming at the would-be rescuers to try to break the glass.

The dispatcher calmly tried to get help to the woman even as her situation grew more desperate.

But the car slowly sank in the pond.

The car "went out a little ways, floated a little and then went under," Fort Worth fire Capt. Tom Crow said. "They were both underwater for several minutes."

The woman and child, who had not been identified by late Thursday, were pronounced dead at Fort Worth hospitals, Capt Michael Baldwin, a Fort Worth police spokesman, said.

The woman was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital and the child to Cook Children's Medical Center, he said.

The pond is on the grounds of Amelia Parc, a residential complex with a landmark clock tower near the mixmaster of East and Southeast Loop 820, Interstate 20 and the Mansfield Highway at the border of Fort Worth, Forest Hill and Kennedale.

Forest Hill police were first on the scene and jumped in to try to save the occupants, Crow said. A Fort Worth Fire Department dive team eventually pulled them from the car.

When asked about the pond's depth, Crow said, "It's deep because the car is still submerged."

Forest Hill police Chief Dan Dennis said four of his officers went into the pond. They were shivering when they came out of the water.

"This is hard on these guys," Dennis said. "They're cold, they're tired and it's a heartbreaking set of circumstances. Everybody's going to be hurting."

Lamorris Debouse, who lives in a neighboring apartment complex, said he watched the rescue attempts.

"They brought the mother out and then the baby," he said.

He that another woman remained on scene talking to police, although her involvement was unclear.

"The lady stayed here for the longest -- definitely upset," he said.

The car that went into the water apparently had collided with another car along a service road of East Loop 820. The other driver also called 911.

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684, Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

6100 East Loop 820 S Fort Worth, TX 76119
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