West Frankfort firefighters save family in dramatic rescue - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

West Frankfort firefighters save family in dramatic rescue

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(Source: Deronda Lemmon) (Source: Deronda Lemmon)
(Source: Deronda Lemmon) (Source: Deronda Lemmon)
Jeff Hefner, Charity Taylor and their 10-year-old son Robby hit a patch of ice and landed in an icy ditch. Jeff Hefner, Charity Taylor and their 10-year-old son Robby hit a patch of ice and landed in an icy ditch.
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WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) -

It was a dramatic Thursday night for one family passing through southern Illinois.

Around 7 p.m. Thursday, West Frankfort Fire and Rescue responded to a crash near the city exit along Interstate 57.

Jeff Hefner, Charity Taylor and their 10-year-old son Robby hit a patch of ice, lost control, left the roadway and landed in a ditch filled with water.

Firefighters used a ladder truck to reach them and carry them to safety.

Charity says the crash was a blur.

"All of a sudden it was like it was spinning and... It was down," Charity said.

"Thank you so very much for my family," Charity said to the firefighters. "Words can't say it enough."

Charity says she's thankful no one was hurt in the crash, but she was very sore Friday.

Charity was carried across the ditch on a backboard.

Fire Captain Ron Rains says 10-year-old Robby was a brave trooper going across that ladder.

"He was scared," Rains explains, "I was just going to try to walk him, try to see if he could walk and just follow him, and he was scared.  I asked him if he could walk and he said, 'huh uh'.  So I decided I was just going to take my helmet and put it on him and strap it on him.  And I said, 'when I turn around, just hop on like a piggyback ride and we'll go.  And that's what we did and it worked."

Rains says the rescue couldn't have been done without great teamwork.  He and others were modest about the rescue.

Jeff, Charity and Robby stayed in a hotel Thursday night and Friday.

They'll be heading out Saturday to complete their trip cross country.

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