Quick action by first responders averted a bigger catastrophe on Tuesday afternoon, March 12, when a pre-school age child fell down a well and his mother jumped in to save him.
The three-year-old child was transported to St. John's Hospital in Springfield by Arch helicopter. Both the child and his mother, 24-year-old Tiffany Crowder, are expected to make a full recovery, according to the Witt Volunteer Fire Department.
First responders were paged to the rural residence on Micenheimer Avenue, about a mile north of Irving, at 3:55 p.m. Tuesday to find Crowder holding her son about 15 feet down a brick-lined water well at the family's residence. Crowder said she saw her son fall into the well and had jumped in to save him. She was unable to touch the bottom and was clinging to an old water pipe in the well, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins.
In addition to the Witt Volunteer Fire Department, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, and Arch Helicopter, the Hillsboro Area Ambulance Service also responded to the scene, and Witt firefighters requested the Hillsboro Fire Department to respond with their confined space rescue equipment.
"Prior to the fire departments' equipment arriving on scene, first responders at the incident located a ladder and lowered it with an attached rope to the trapped mother and child," Robbins said. "Crowder put her son on the ladder and first responders were able to pull the child up and out of the well."
As the fire departments' equipment arrived, a firefighter from the Witt Fire Department was lowered into the well in a harness to rescue the parent.
"The mother's action of jumping into the well I believe saved her son's life," Robbins said. "I commend her for her actions while disregarding her own safety. Mrs. Crowder stated that any mother would do it; she had to."