CAMDEN, Arkansas (KARK/AP) – A 3-year-old boy and his 1-year-old brother survived alone for about two days after they were passengers in a single-car wreck that killed their mother in south Arkansas.
The older boy was found first, wandering alone on Monday morning along a road in Camden, about 85 miles southwest of Little Rock, the Ouachita County Sheriff Office said. Authorities say the child had several scratches and cuts on his body, but appeared to be in good health.
Staff at the sheriff’s department cared for the child until he was turned over to the custody of the Department of Human Services.
Authorities posted the boy’s photo online in hopes of identifying him and learned that his mother hadn’t been seen for days.
During the course of the investigation, deputies were able to locate a name of the child’s mother from family members. Family members also said they had not seen the mother and her two children in a few days.
Deputies went back to the scene where the child was found on Monday morning and discovered an accident off the highway in a deep ravine that was not visible from the roadway. Deputies saw a vehicle laying on its side and a deceased woman. It appeared that the woman had been ejected from the vehicle.
Deputies then found a 1-year-old child fastened in a car seat inside the vehicle. Deputies climbed into the vehicle and rescued the child. The child was awake and alert when transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center for treatment.
The toddlers’ survival is even more remarkable given the heat over the weekend, when high temperatures reached well into the 90s, Detective Nathan Greeley of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Today is anything but short of a miracle,” Greeley said. “The 3-year-old and 1-year-old being able to survive in the elements … it’s nothing short of a miracle, God’s blessing, that these children were able to survive this accident.”
The younger boy was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital to be treated for dehydration, but his condition isn’t life-threatening, authorities said.
The Arkansas State Police is leading the investigation of the accident.