Above the Call: Chuckawalla Valley SP analyst helps rescue baby, pregnant woman in accident

Kristina Smith, an AGPA, helped save a pregnant woman and an infant during a two-car accident on a busy highway.

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
and Lt. Moises Soria, AA/Public Information Officer
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison

A Chuckawalla Valley State Prison employee recently helped save a pregnant woman and a baby from a two-car accident.

Kristina Smith, an associate governmental program analyst, was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 on Dec. 30 when two cars collided in front of her on the freeway. She also saw what she suspected was an infant car seat flying out of one of the vehicles.

“I immediately grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911,” said Smith. “While I was on the phone with 911, the cars were still rolling.”

She pulled over to assist.

“I was thinking I needed to help these people in the accident,” she said.

Smith ran to the crash where she found a pregnant woman trapped inside one of the vehicles. The woman was yelling for her baby.  She and a group of bystanders lifted the vehicle, allowing the woman to be removed.

Trying to keep the woman calm, Smith told her she too was pregnant. The crash victim smiled. At the time of the accident, Smith was two months pregnant but she and her husband hadn’t told anyone at that point.

“When I was helping lift the car, I was worried about the victim’s safety, and did not worry about my own pregnancy,” she said. “I did what was needed to be done, and was happy that there were others available to assist.”

The infant car seat had been thrown about 25 yards from the crash. Face down, but still strapped inside, Smith found an unconscious baby. She held the baby’s hand while a bystander, who happened to be a trauma nurse, performed CPR. Eventually, the infant regained consciousness.

Emergency medical services arrived along with the California Highway Patrol. The victims of the collision were flown by helicopter to hospitals for further treatment.

“I stayed calm until after it was all done (and) then when I got in my car afterward, I broke down,” she said.

According to news reports, there were three people injured and one of the cars had rolled over. Three helicopters landed on the freeway while the CHP closed traffic both ways. The infant was flown to a children’s hospital in Arizona.


29 Responses

  1. alicia garza Tuesday, May 2, 2017 / 8:55 am

    Mrs. Smith, you were a true blessing to that family. All praises to the Lord above for placing it in your heart to assist this accident and giving you the ability to react. This is an awesome story!

  2. WATSON Tuesday, April 18, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    This is the reason God placed you here on the beautiful earth. This story warms my heart with joy. God Bless you and your family and may his mercy and grace forever abound with you.

  3. Derrick Patrick Sunday, February 26, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    Outstanding Kristina! Thank god you were traveling, on the 10E and saw what happened and responded. Beautiful, you’re an angel in disguise…….

  4. C. Garlington Friday, February 17, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    God is good all the time, and puts people in certain places for a reason. Great job Kristina, for your quick thinking and selflessness. The good Lord, will continue to bless you in all that you do.

  5. Carr Friday, February 17, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    Wow! True heroism. May God bless you and your baby as you have blessed others.

  6. G. Lomeli Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Oh wow Kristina, you’re an angel. God bless you and your baby.

  7. L.R. ASP Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    God bless you and your baby. Awesome job!

  8. J. Buckley - PVSP Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / 11:18 am

    I bet there is one grateful husband/father out there who is thankful you were there to help out. Great job for doing the right thinng.

  9. Janice Lyon, Asst Correctional Food Mngr Calipatria Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / 5:47 am

    Kristina, awesome job. I remember seeing your post on FB. Most definitely you were an Angel placed there. Congrats on the pregnancy. You had someone special watching over you that day also, taking care of you while you were taking care of them.

  10. Dana Kelly Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / 1:04 am

    Congrats on your own little one. I hope and pray all goes well with your pregnancy and birth.

  11. Dana Kelly Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / 1:00 am

    It is my belief that God placed you in the right place at the right time. Had you not witnessed the car seat flying out the window that little one would be dead. What quick response and help you gave. Thank you! Every time that mother holds her baby, she will be grateful the infant is alive. We truly need more bystanders like you. Awesome job. Well done.

  12. M.E.A. Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    Great job Kristina! I’m glad you and the other families involved are okay thanks to your quick reaction help got there in time. You were there for a reason and deserve to be recognized.

  13. Gilbert Castellon Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    Wow, not only that I am impressed with your work helping Plant Ops staff with their daily tasks and needs from the facility, but also from FPCM-HQ. Since I met you upon my first site visit, you have been very attentive without hesitation, so, I am not surprised of your quick reaction and thoughtfulness. I wish you the best during your pregnancy. Thank you and congratulations.

  14. Trinette Cannon Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    Kristina that is awesome. CDCR has great employees who care. I’m proud to have been one of them and was able to work alongside you! Blessings to you and the baby.

  15. Cortney R. Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    Proud of my baby sister. She did not request recognition for this and wished to remain quiet to the fact, upon talking to her and letting her breakdown over the phone shortly after this incident, her only concern was how the baby was doing. She never once questioned her own safety but rather the safety and well-being of the baby and mother. Angels do walk among us, and I am blessed to call her my sister.

    • Dana Kelly Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / 1:20 am

      Thank you Courtney for your saying about Angels……I’m sure Kristina says the same about you…..

  16. L. Hernandez Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 11:28 am

    Outstanding job! What a blessing you and the others where there to help. Angels come in all forms.
    I hope you’re doing ok as well.

  17. Irene Torres Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 11:22 am

    How thankful that family must be. You were there at the right time and place. Great job. I hope you are doing well in your pregnancy.

  18. Brian Paul Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 10:53 am

    Amazing job Kristina! Thank God for people like you and the other helpers.

  19. Kenneth Emerick Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Wow, praise the Lord! What is the status of the baby now?

    • Kristina Smith Tuesday, February 21, 2017 / 9:29 am

      I was informed by CHP that the pregnant woman, her unborn child and the 1 yr infant were all OK. Thank God!

  20. Cynthia Soto Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 10:15 am

    It’s said that angels without wings walked among us…

  21. Jennifer Rodriguez Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 9:53 am

    Thank God that you were there for this family during their time of need. I’m sure that she is very thankful for you and all of the others who stopped to help. I’m glad that you, your own baby, this very blessed mother, and her children made it out ok.

  22. Karla La Shawn Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 9:52 am

    (((Ms. Kristina)))
    We are blessed to have people in this world who are willing to put others needs first.
    You could have stayed in your car and just looked on but you didn’t.
    You’re awesome, Chica.

  23. Jon W. Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 9:39 am

    I remember this day well. The freeway was backed up for miles, our normal 25 minute commute home took many of us hours. The story was all over the local paper and not one mention of the outstanding job Mrs. Smith did. Kristina, you are a very humble person and this tiny family is very lucky you and the other bystanders were there to help. Bless you all!

  24. Penny Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 9:34 am

    You were the blessing this momma and baby needed. Angels come in all forms and you were definitely theirs. I am glad that you and your baby are ok.

  25. CCI TUUA Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 9:29 am

    What a blessing you are. Thank God you and other bystanders were there to assist this pregnant woman and her infant. This is an amazing story. I wish you all the best with your pregnancy. We need more people like you and the other bystanders in this world.

  26. Eli Davis Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 9:25 am

    That oustanding. Great job.

  27. J. G. PVSP Tuesday, February 14, 2017 / 9:22 am

    An army of Angels were there.

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