A 4-year-old girl who fell out of a church bus onto a busy highway in Arkansas last Friday is now expected to make a full recovery from her injuries after she was rescued by a quick-thinking volunteer firefighter who was driving behind the bus as the accident unfolded.
"It was just unbelievable," firefighter Ryan Ciampoli told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield. "One minute I'm just driving down the road, and the next minute I see a little girl swing over the door on this church bus and fall to the highway. It was heartbreaking, but instantly I used my EMS training and firefighter training and assessed the scene as best I could."
Campioli said once he assessed the scene, he decided to move the little girl, identified as Emily Rose Turner.
"I realized that it wasn't a good place for her laying there. Typically, in EMS, we're not supposed to move the patient unless they're in a pretty dangerous situation. And because she was on the state highway there in Harrison, Arkansas, it was grounds to get her out of there. I couldn't stand for her to get hit by a car or someone hit us both, and so I immediately got out of my car," he explained.
"I realized the pavement was going to be hot because it was like 80 degrees that day, and so as soon as I ran over to her and approached her, she was unconscious at first. But then she started to move her arm and kind of look up at me, and so I picked her up as carefully as I could and held her in my arms and kind of assessed her little body to see what kind of damages had been done by the fall," he added.
An incident report from the Harrison Police Department said 10 passengers were on the bus which belongs to Christian Life Center Church in Harrison. The bus was being driven by the church's Pastor, Tim Hampton.
Hampton explained in the report that the children on the bus were yelling at him to stop after Emily fell out. Once he realized what happened he pulled over on the side of the road and another driver pulled up to him and confirmed what happened shortly after. He drove back to the scene and waited for police.
Paramedics arrived in about 5 minutes and transported Emily to the hospital. She suffered a broken jaw and will need surgery to repair it. She's expected to make a full recovery.
Investigators have not filed any charges in the case and a statement issued by the family's lawyer, reported by 40/29 News, requested privacy.
"The family wishes to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. The child remains in medical treatment and an investigation is underway. The family requests privacy at this time," the statement said.