Girl, 5, Flags Down Help for Mom in Wreck

Lexi Shymanski climbed an embankment in her bare feet
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2015 3:18 PM CDT
Girl, 5, Takes Action for Mom in Scary Car Wreck
Authorities respond an SUV crash off a rural highway.    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A little girl in Canada saved her mom and her brother by taking extraordinary action after a car accident in June, the CBC reports. Lexi Shymanski, 5, was strapped into the back seat beside her baby brother when their mom, Angela—soothed by a lullaby CD playing for the kids—dozed off behind the wheel and plunged their SUV down a 40-foot embankment near Jasper, Alberta. That's when Lexi woke up with her mom unconscious and her 10-week-old brother Peter crying. "It’s crazy," Angela tells Metro News. "I only can remember one or two times where she got out of her five-point harness previously. She somehow got out, adrenaline or whatever, and barefoot hiked up the embankment." Not only that, Lexi flagged down a passerby who then flagged down another driver—a paramedic, as luck would have it—who hiked down and helped Lexi's family members until emergency crews arrived. It could have been a very different ending: Angela says she ended up driving a different route than she had told her husband she was taking, and said the crashed car couldn't be seen from the highway.

All were flown to a hospital in Edmonton, where Lexi's injuries appeared light and Peter was operated on for bleeding of the brain that's expected to heal. Angela, however, had fractures to her neck and upper back: "The spleen had to be taken out and my liver was really badly damaged but they took all my organs out to check for rips and tears," she tells the Prince George Citizen. She's still recovering in a wheelchair (with help from her husband, Travis) and struggles to walk with nerve damage to her left leg. As for Lexi, she's doing OK but complains of neck pain and nightmares. Asked how she managed the rescue, she says, "I thought, 'What would Mommy say if she was awake ... Mommy would say go get help.'" See a GoFundMe account for the Shymanskis, or read about how a teen's nosebleed saved her parents.)

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