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Girl recalls dad saving drowning 4-year-old from West Valley City pool

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 12:58:36-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - A 4-year-old girl is in extremely critical condition after police responded to reports of a drowning at an apartment complex swimming pool.

The incident happened at the decker lake apartments at 2184 w 3100 south around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Residents who were at the pool say the little girl was reaching in to grab a floatie when she fell into the deep end.

There were several children in the pool when it happened and 10-year-old Mareangel Hernandez first saw the girl at the bottom.

“I was swimming and I saw the girl; she was like with her hair, her head was looking down and her feet went up,” Mareangel said.

Mareangel started yelling for her dad who was at the edge of the pool.

Carlos Hernandez says he jumped into the pool, diving down to the bottom to get the girl, then struggled to keep her above his head to get her to the shallow end.

“I was scared and I was telling my dad to be careful and then I carried her to the floor,” Mareangel said.

Once Carlos got the 4-year-old girl out of the water, he started chest compressions. He says after she coughed out a lot of water she started breathing.

Within minutes police got there and took the little girl to Jordan Valley West. Then life flight flew her to Primary Children’s Hospital.

Mareangel got emotional when she recalled what her dad did to save the little girl’s life and says her dad is a hero.

Police say the girl is in extremely critical condition but would not have had a fighting chance without the man diving in to save her. This is the third drowning or near drowning we've reported on in a matter of days, police say this is a painful reminder to always keep a close eye on children while next to a pool.

You can find some water safety tips from the Utah Safety Council here and the Utah Department of Health have some on their website too.