An early morning crash that seriously injured 5 children evolved into tragedy over Thursday, as two of the children involved succumbed to their injuries in the hours following the single-car accident.
A St. Louis Park spokesman said the 5 children rescued from a submerged car off Highway 100 on Thursday morning were found unresponsive, and all 5 suffered serious injuries, according to Minnesota State Patrol.
The 23-year-old driver went off the road and crashed into the pond at about 6:15 a.m. after taking the Highway 100 north ramp from Highway 7 westbound. VIEW PHOTOS
CHILDREN STUCK 25-45 MINUTES
St. Louis Park spokesman Jamie Zwilling said the mother of three of the children, 23-year-old Marion Guerrido of Brooklyn Center, escaped the car when it hit the water. Neighbors at a nearby apartment building heard her cries for help, called 911, and rushed to her aid.
The first child was pulled out of the car after 25 minutes, the last after 45 minutes, Minnesota State Patrol confirmed. The pond was near freezing, police said.
The children's ages are 1, 5, 5, 6 and 7. Minnesota State Patrol confirmed Thursday afternoon that the 1-year-old and 7-year-old are both at Amplatz Children's Hospital with serious injuries. The other three are at HCMC, also with serious injuries. All are from Brooklyn Center.
Marion Guerrido, 23: No apparent injury
Aliyana Rennie, 1: Serious injury
Zarihana Rennie, 6: Serious injury
Zenavia Rennie, 5: Deceased
Alarious Coleman-Guerrido, 7: Deceased
Amani Coleman-Guerrido, 5: Serious injury
A CHANCE OF SURVIVAL?
The hospitals are not releasing any information on the condition of the surviving children; however, an emergency room doctor who spoke with Fox 9 News said the cold water actually increases their odds.
"One of the things the cold temperature does is it slows down the metabolic rate for the cells," Dr. Aaron Burnett explained. "The ones we worry about most are the cells in the brain. So, the cold really means that you will require less oxygen and produce fewer waste products for a given period of time.
Burnett says the strategy for survival involves getting the kids to a hospital and warming their bodies as aggressively as possible.
CAUSE UNDER INVESTIGATION
The car -- a green Pontiac Grand Am -- was submerged in about 8 feet of water. Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Roeske said there is no indication the crash was intentional and no alcohol was detected. Police are investigating whether wet roads played a role in the crash.
The northbound ramp to Highway 100 was closed for several hours during accident reconstruction.
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