State trooper among 1st on scene of last week's Detroit freeway pileup recounts rescue of girl

Published On: Feb 07 2013 11:49:10 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 08 2013 07:12:57 AM EST


A Michigan State Police trooper who was among the first emergency responders at a chain-reaction wreck that killed three people is recounting his efforts credited with saving a child's life and the grueling decisions faced by rescuers.

In an interview with Local 4, Trooper Seth Swanson said motorists directed him Jan. 31 to a crumpled car with three children inside.

"When I arrived on scene, it was just a mess," he said. "You could just see mangled cars everywhere."

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Deadly I-75 crash

After failing to find a pulse on two of them, he broke a window to reach the third.

The girl had a faint pulse and Swanson, who has been a trooper for four years, cleared her airway and administered three rescue breaths until she regained consciousness.

"Whatever miracle happened, it (the rescue breath) took and she took a really deep breath and came conscious," Swanson said. "Then she started feeling her injuries that she had sustained ... I held her head straight so it didn't move around. I was afraid of further injury to herself."

The girl, identified as Hannah Greenwood, was released from a hospital this week.

It was difficult, Swanson said, to care for her while believing the two other children might be dead.

"The things that have helped me through it is just the teammates that I have to lean on and help me through that whole process," Swanson said.

Two of her siblings in the car died in the wreck. They were 9-year-old Gabrielle Greenwood of Windsor, Ontario, and her 7-year-oldstepbrother Aidan Hicks.

Hannah's father, Glenn, was also was released Tuesday from a hospital. His wife, Kim, is in serious condition.

On his Facebook page, Glenn wrote, "I have never been so hurt and destroyed as i am now but My beautiful Hannah has given me more strength with every step she takes. I am so proud of my baby girl and i am so happy she will be safe and home tomorrow. Love you hannah bum xoxo. I am still busted up pretty bad but i am being the rock my family needs... please do not stop the prayers for my beautiful wife.. i miss my gabi and aidan all of you and i thank you from my deapest heart for you thoughts and love."

Swanson said he had visited the family in the hospital and was happy to see they were healing.

"It was a very tough situation for them and I wanted to make sure, check up on their status and see how they were doing, what the end result of their injuries that were sustained and to check on the mother as well," he said.

The pileups on southbound Interstate 75 on Detroit's southwest side included 43 cars, SUVs and semi-trailers in a dozen separate crashes. One of the wrecks also resulted in the death of Larry Manolis,54, of Allen Park.

--Larry Manolis

More than a dozen people also were injured.


IMAGES: I-75 crash caused by massive whiteout


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