Man tried to save 7-year-old girl after ATV accident in Tooele

Posted at 9:28 PM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-14 00:17:31-04

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah - Miranda Anderson was in Middle Canyon riding on an ATV with her family when the driver crashed. The deadly accident happened on Mother's Day.

Jeff Shuemaker says something compelled him to drive up the canyon on Sunday. He said when he turned his car around at the gates, he saw a man with a little girl in his arms, yelling to stop.

"There was a father with a little girl; he said he needed help, his little girl wasn't responding to him," says Shuemaker.

Miranda Anderson was lifeless in her father's arms.

"The little girl was in my car in her daddy's arms."

Shuemaker was driving along the road when he spotted them, five miles down Middle Canyon where the 7-year-old and her family spent Sunday afternoon ATV riding.

"I just said jump in the car and we went down the road until we got cell service in my phone and we called 911."

The Tooele County Sheriff's Office says the girl was sitting in the front seat of an all-terrain vehicle. The driver was a 32-year-old man, who police say is a family friend.

The rig they were in drifted and crashed into some trees. Miranda's father was on a motorcycle ahead of her when he heard the accident. He lifted the ATV off his daughter and found a branch lodged in her neck.

"He noticed that she had a puncture wound just right here in her neck area, right above her clavicle there. She was lifeless there at that point," says Lt. Jeff Morgan.

Shuemaker, who is a certified EMT, performed CPR but it was too late. Miranda was taken to Mountain West Medical Center where she died.

Now a pink teddy bear sits at the gates to Middle Canyon, in honor of the East Elementary student. The man who tried to save her tells himself he did everything he could.

"You have to know in the back of your mind that you did everything you could do and that's what I did last night with that little girl. I didn't know her all I remember is she had blondish-brown hair and brown eyes," says Shuemaker.

Miranda Anderson was wearing a helmet. The 32-year-old driver of the ATV she was on was taken to the hospital for knee surgery and the Tooele County Sheriff's Office says they have reason to believe that he may have been impaired. Results of a blood alcohol test will be released in the next few days.