Passers-by rescue children from car submerged in Utah river
Crash • Passers-by jump into icy Logan River to save children.
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Three children are expected to recover thanks to the efforts of several passers-by who jumped into the waters of an icy Utah river to save them on Saturday.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Winward said two 9-year-old girls and 4-year-old boy were riding in a Honda Accord about 12:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 89 when the driver lost control on the slippery road leading into Logan Canyon. Winward said the passers-by watched as the car plunged down an embankment, went into the Logan River and landed on its top, trapping the children beneath the waters.

Winward said the driver, a 46-year-old man, managed to free himself but couldn't get to the children.

Rescuer Chris Willden told KUTV on Saturday that he saw the driver trying to get to the children, but the doors wouldn't open. He jumped into the river and ended up using his handgun to break the window.

"I pulled out my handgun, placed [it] next to the window, angled it up to the roof, which would have been the bottom of the river, and I fired one round to break the window," he told KUTV.

Winward said several people jumped into the water, helped flip the car over and freed the children. The boy wasn't breathing when he was pulled from the water, but he was able to be resuscitated, Winward said.

Two of the children, the 4-year-old and his sister, were later flown by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Medical Center, he said. The other 9-year-old was treated at a Logan hospital. Both girls suffered from hypothermia. All were expected to recover.

jstecklein@sltrib.com