Westville area woman in labor rescued from stranded car

2014-01-06T16:00:00Z 2014-01-07T19:27:44Z Westville area woman in labor rescued from stranded carStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 06, 2014 4:00 pm  • 

A pregnant LaPorte County woman on her way to the hospital in labor was rescued from a snow drift but even the snowmobile she was on couldn't get her to an ambulance.

The woman, whose name was not being released Monday due to privacy laws, was in the maternity ward at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Michigan City and in labor, hospital officials said.

About 11 p.m., emergency responders were called to the area of Joliet Road and 350 South east of Westville.

Westville Fire Chief Sean Jacks said the woman and her husband were going to the hospital when their car became stuck in about 3 feet of snow drifting over the road.

A LaPorte County Highway Department snowplow with an ambulance following responded, but the plow also became stuck on another road about two miles away.

Westville firefighters and LaPorte County police took a different route to try to reach the couple.

They drove south on Wozniak Road but as they reached the top of a hill they couldn't get any closer than 300 to 500 feet away from the man and woman's vehicle due to what seemed like a wall of snow blocking the road.

"All we could see were the lights on the vehicle," said Jacks.

Jacks said a firefighter on a snowmobile reached the woman and she climbed aboard but while heading back to where police and firefighters were standing by the drive belt on the snowmobile broke.

Emergency responders wading through drifts walked the woman to a Fire Department vehicle, which took her to an ambulance waiting  more than a mile to the west on U.S. 421.

"It was quite an incident," said Jacks, who added the woman's contractions were about three minutes apart.

Sgt. Andy Hynek transported the woman's husband to the hospital after his Chevy Tahoe police vehicle was freed from a snowdrift.

"Fortunately, they made it to the hospital in time and safely," said LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer.

Bob Young, LaPorte County Highway Department superintendent, said a payloader was called out to free the plow from the deep snow.

"It was pretty wild last night for a couple of hours," said Young.

Westville firefighter Eric Johnston said the woman was dressed for the arctic-like temperatures and seemed fine.

Hospital officials said once the woman has the baby permission will be sought to release her name if she wants to speak publicly about her ordeal.

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