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  1. #1
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    Default Rescue divers pull girl from van at bottom of canal

    Rescue divers pull girl from van at bottom of canal
    http://www.nbc6.net/print/1839485/detail.html

    Girl Critical After Car Plunges Into Canal

    Victim Was Celebrating Her Birthday

    December 16, 2002

    MIAMI SPRINGS, Fla. -- A 12-year-old girl is in critical condition after getting trapped in a car underwater. The crash happened Saturday night in Miami Springs as the girl celebrated her birthday. Investigators said the girl was caught in her seat belt when her mother's van plunged into a canal. Rescuers pulled the girl out several minutes later, and took her to Miami Children's Hospital.
    Her mother was not injured.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2001
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    384

    Default Update - Girl dies despite rapid rescue

    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...printstory.jsp

    Dec. 17, 2002

    Girl dies as result of van plunging into canal
    "Dead girl's family recalls party that ended so tragically"

    BY LUISA YANEZ
    lyanez@herald.com

    Saturday had been a banner day for Beatriz ''Betty'' Thompson.
    Her mother treated the seventh-grader to a morning at the beauty shop -- a nail and hair special so she would look her best for her 12th birthday party that afternoon.
    ''She had been so excited about her party. Why did it have to end in such tragedy?'' Betty's mother, Idalmis Abreu, asked between sobs on Monday.
    Several hours earlier, her only child died at Miami Childrens Hospital, where she had been in intensive care since Saturday night.
    A freak accident following the birthday party left Betty trapped in her mother's red Dodge van as it plunged into a chilly canal behind their complex at 375 S. Royal Poinciana Blvd. It was pitch dark, around 10 p.m.
    Abreu, 32, said they were getting ready to give several friends a ride home. She was in the driver's seat, her daughter next to her already strapped in. Betty's best friend, Yadaris Rodriguez, 12, a classmate at Miami Springs Middle School, was in the back seat.
    Abreu said she thinks she shifted into ''drive'' instead of ''reverse.'' Before she could stop the car, it shot forward through a wrought iron gate and plunged into the canal.
    ''As we were sinking, I looked at my daughter and held on to her, but the current was so strong. It separated us. . . . I lost her,'' she said, breaking down. ``I lived for my daughter. I took such care of her, and for what?''
    Abreu and Yadaris were lucky.
    An unidentified Good Samaritan jumped in the water and pulled Abreu out. Yadaris managed to break a window in the back and scramble to the surface. She, too, was helped to shore by the mystery rescuer.
    ''I just hit the window really hard and got out,'' Yadaris said Monday. ``Betty didn't make it out.''
    Frantic neighbors called 911. Miami Springs police arrived, and an officer jumped in the water without a mask. But he was unable to reach Betty, said police spokesman David Bechler.
    Minutes later, a firefighter with diving gear pulled her out. She was still strapped into her seat.
    The cause of the accident is under investigation, Bechler said.

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