Joshua Hendricks was hundreds of miles from his family when he got a video call from his wife, Amanda.
She was standing on the side of the road as she told him a driver had struck the stroller she was pushing with two of their kids inside, throwing their toddler up to 25 feet away, Hendricks told McClatchy News in a phone interview.
The dad spoke to his 2-year-old son, Jeffrey Thor, over the phone as a witness rushed to perform CPR on the child.
“My only thought was, ‘God, let my kid still be alive, and let him be OK when I get there,’” he told McClatchy News on May 25.
The couple’s other two children were also injured in the crash, which happened at about 8:10 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, on State Route 27 in Spokane Valley, the Washington State Patrol said in an incident report.
Hendricks said his wife looked both ways before crossing the street, which had no crosswalk. She saw one car farther down the road, so she began to walk.
This car slowed for the family, but another driver passed the vehicle and struck them, he said. Troopers said the the “pedestrians failed to recognize vehicle one” in their report.
The 16-year-old driver has not been charged in relation to the crash, troopers said May 25.
“There is no indication from the investigation the juvenile driver committed any criminal violations,” Sgt. Gregory Riddell told McClatchy News in an email.
Jeffrey Thor didn’t have a pulse after the crash, but the witness’ fast response helped save his son’s life, Hendricks said.
“The biggest thing was just speaking to him through the phone, and I was like, ‘he’s going to be OK, he’s going to be OK,’” Hendricks said.
He took the last flight of the night back to Spokane and rushed to his family members, who were taken to a hospital.
Jeffrey Thor is still in critical condition with a shifted brain injury, he said. His 11-month-old, Obidiah “Obi,” was also in the stroller and now has two minor fractures to his femur, Hendricks said.
Kaleb, the couple’s 11-year-old son, was struck by the stroller and needed 11 stitches. He also fractured his foot.
Amanda Hendricks injured her wrist, but she wasn’t struck by the car, he said.