Family says bystander helped save life of unborn baby after fatal crash
SALT LAKE CITY (KSTU) -- A train crashed into a car Monday night, claiming the life of a young pregnant mother, and the victim's family says those who were first on the scene saved the unborn baby's life.
Mindy Simpson works as a nurse in Salt Lake City, and she happened to be about a hundred yards away from the tracks, walking around with her husband and 5-year-old son, when they heard a loud crash.
"I immediately ran over and saw the driver and pulled him out," Simpson said. "It's hard and it's overwhelming and feels surreal."
With tears in her eyes, Simpson recounts the horrific moments following the tragic train crash.
"He kept screaming, 'Where's my baby?! Where's my baby?!' And I turned and saw Ofa up the track and ran to her," Simpson said.
Ofa Kinikini, 30, was ejected from the passenger seat of the car. When Mindy got to her, Ofa was lifeless.
"I looked at him and I screamed at him, 'Is she pregnant?' and he said, 'She's due next month,'" Simpson recalled.
Immediately Simpson started chest compressions.
"My first thought was I have to keep blood flow, heart pumping, anything I could for that baby," Simpson said.
Photos of the scene of the accident, Mindy Sampson and Ofa Kinikini:
"It's unbelievable to see your loved one performing chest compressions on a lifeless body," said Dominic Simpson.
After five minutes of CPR, an ambulance arrived. Doctors performed an emergency C-section to save the baby. Now, the newborn remains in critical condition.
"I don't feel like I helped enough, I wish I could have done more," Mindy Simpson said.
But Ofa's family says Mindy was a godsend.
"If she wasn't there, I don't think she would have survived," said Michael Kinikini. "She is a hero, and our family is always going to look at that as her being a hero."
Simpson said: "My goal is to hold that little one, hold her and see her and love on her."
It's a tragedy that's bringing families together.
"I think we'll forever be connected in a way," Simpson said.
The family expresses their appreciation to all those who stopped and helped. FOX 13 News is told the driver is recovering. As for why the car was on the tracks, police are investigating but have not released any new information.
Ofa leaves behind her newborn along with six other children, all under the age of 10.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.