Twelve-year-old Cory Arnett’s heroics helped save the life of three children during a car accident in New Harmony, Utah on Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Sadly, the accident claimed the life of 23-year-old New Harmony, Utah resident, Beth Donnelly. Cory was out on a midday drive with his neighbor Beth, and three children, on a poorly-maintained dirt road. Beth was driving the 2003 Ford Explorer on Pace Canyon Road with her 2-year-old daughter, Belin, another 2-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy whom she was babysitting. “I put on my seat belt and the next thing I knew we careened off the road and flipped, landing in the river bottom,” Cory said. Cory blacked out for a brief time and woke up to hear the three kids screaming, and to see the driver laying outside the car. “There was a 3-year-old boy wedged between the dashboard and windshield. I grabbed him and put him out on the bank and then got the others out one at a time.”
Cory said that the driver, Donnelly was face down, he turned her over and saw she was bleeding heavily and not responding. He then helped the young boy up the 15-foot embankment by pushing him from behind. He went back down to the car and brought one of the girls up the embankment while the other clung to his leg. Donelly’s daughter was screaming for her mom, but Cory knew he couldn’t let her see her mom. Cory then left he kids in the shade so he could make a two-mile trek into town to call for help. In route, he spotted a woman on an ATV who happened to be a nurse. She called paramedics from Cedar City, Utah then returned to the accident scene to help the children. Thankfully, all the children were released after being checked at a local hospital. Paramedics pronounced Ms. Donnelly dead at the scene.
Members in the community have shown great support for the family of Ms. Donnelly and they continue to praise the actions of young Cory. Beth’s husband Jesse Donnelly, is thankful for Cory’s calm and heroic actions during the horrific accident. Jesse suspects his wife might have just turned her head back to see the children for a split second and veered off the road. “She would do anything for anybody anytime,” he said. “You couldn’t ask for a better mom.”
Washington County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Robert Torsigni said it appears Donnelly was traveling too fast to navigate around the curve. The vehicle spun and went down the hillside backward, flipping end over end reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
My heart goes out to the Donnelly family and I offer my condolences during this difficult time. The actions of this young boy are pretty inspiring and how fortunate he was able to bring the children to safety. Each passenger in the vehicle is entitled to $3,000 personal injury protection (P.I.P) money. This is claimed through the insurance of the Ford Explorer. The report indicates the injuries were minor so I’m guessing the $3,000 should be sufficient to cover the paramedic’s bill and any hospital bills associated with the claim. It is not, however, uncommon to have accident-related injuries flare up days after the accident. Sometimes bruising, soreness and swelling are proven to much to handle without medical treatment. In this case, the children may need additional medical care and if these costs exceed the $3,000, they would do well to contact a Utah personal injury attorney who can help file the claim with the insurance company.
The Kramer Law Group does not currently represent any of the parties referenced in the article at the time it was written. We have cited and linked to the source of our information. If you were involved in the above incident, or one like it, and have questions about your rights and possible remedies, you may call us or another reputable Utah personal injury law firm. Do not act based on the above information without getting a consultation. The best Utah personal injury attorneys will offer a free consultation. We offer a free and confidential consultation to those (and their family members) not substantially at fault in causing their accident. The information and opinions expressed above are provided as a public service and should not be used in place of legal advice from a qualified attorney.
Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.