Two Illinois teens have achieved hero status after helping rescue a baby from inside a vehicle after a reportedly intoxicated driver hit the car and killed the child’s pregnant mother.
Hunter Hasenjaeger, 16, and Collin Barry, 17, were driving home after midnight on Friday in Minooka, Illinois, when they stumbled upon a tragic scene: Alexis Danley, 27, who was six months pregnant, was hanging out of her stopped vehicle, WGN-TV reported.
That’s when Hasenjaeger and Barry heard a baby inside the car “crying extremely loud and screaming.” Police hadn’t yet arrived to the crash scene, so the two teens immediately jumped into action, with Barry entering the car to get the baby out.
They also attempted to help Danley, who was breathing heavily at the time, but the teens said she was unresponsive. They continued to tell her, though, that her baby was okay and that help was on the way, The Herald-News reported.
“You don’t expect to walk up to that,” Hasenjaeger told the outlet.
The car was reportedly smoking when the teens discovered it, so there’s no telling what could have happened if Hasenjaeger and Barry hadn’t promptly taken her out. Danley was later pronounced dead at the scene and the baby was taken to the hospital for evaluation before being released to family members.
Hasenjaeger said he has since brought food and a stuffed animal to the baby, telling WGN that he feels a connection to the child.
“I didn’t even know her name but I felt a connection,” he told the outlet. “I think I did what any person should have done. That’s just how I was raised.”
The accident unfolded when a 23-year-old man named Jacob Kaminski reportedly tried to pass another car in the no passing lane. According to the Daily Mail, he also reportedly hit third car with three people in it, though they suffered no serious injuries.
Kaminski was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence; he also allegedly possessed marijuana.