Michigan State trooper hailed as a hero after helping Windsor-Essex family in I-75 crash
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:25PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 6, 2013 4:15PM EST
Michigan State trooper Seth Swanson is being hailed as a hero after helping rescue a 10-year-old Windsor-area girl in the Detroit freeway crash last week.
He was the first trooper to respond to the car carrying a Windsor and Essex County family.
Swanson was working with Hannah, whose sister Gabrielle Greenwood, 9, and step-brother Aiden Hicks, 7, died in the massive pileup on Interstate-75 last Thursday.
“I checked the vitals with the one closest to me on the side of the impact, couldn't get any vitals whatsoever, no breathing, no pulse,” says Swanson. “I checked the small boy who was on the floor, he was the next closest to me, no breathing, no pulse. So then I went to the third girl (Hannah) who was farthest away from the impact, she was unconscious also, but she had a faint pulse."
Hannah was in hospital for several days, but has now been released. Her step-mother, Kim Barrett, is still in critical condition in hospital. Her father, Glen Greenwood, has been released.
When Swanson first approached Hannah after the crash, he says he told her his name and he told her everything was going to be okay.
“I told her I wasn't going to leave her and that help was on the way," says Swanson.
He has been in contact with Glen Greenwood. While he was in hospital, the grieving father posted on Facebook:
“I just received a visit while in a wheelchair next to my wife from the state trooper that was on scene. He was very comforting and kind and also informed me that he had revived Hannah at the scene. I would like for all to know officer Seth Swanson of the Michigan State Police. That young man is my hero and saved my little girls life... i am in eternal debt to that officer.... thank you !!!!!!”
Swanson met with the media Wednesday in Detroit. He says it’s not the first time he’s seen accidents of this magnitude, but the first time he’s seen a fatal accident this big involving children.
"I wish I had more hands so I could take care of all of them, and that was the most frustrating part," says Swanson.
Michigan State Lt. Michael Shaw says there were 43 cars involved in 12 separate accidents in the mile-long pileup.
Shaw says charges may be pending, but it’s not likely.