RANKIN (KDKA) – A Rankin police officer who helped save a 3-year-old girl’s life after a crash is now trying to help raise money for her care.
Last Dec. 4, Devon Martin was crossing the Rankin Bridge with his wife and daughter when he lost control on the ice, crossed into oncoming traffic and was tee-boned by another vehicle.
Martin’s wife and daughter were severely injured.
“My wife was pinned between the door and the seat,” said Martin. “I pulled her out, she climbed out the passenger- side window. My daughter was unconscious.”
When Rankin Police Chief Ryan Wooten arrived, he immediately gave Martin’s 3-year-old daughter, Sonya, CPR.
“Ryan Wooten and another officer took her from me, put her on the hood of a car and resuscitated her at that time,” said Martin.
The chief helped saved the child’s life, but he refuses to be called a hero.
“If it’s giving CPR, first aid to a 3-year-old girl, stopping a bank robber or writing a ticket, that’s what our jobs are. That’s what we do,” said Chief Wooten.
But Chief Wooten’s involvement with the family didn’t end with the accident.
Sonya, who is autistic and partially deaf, is paralyzed from the neck down. Her mother, Sophie, suffered a broken pelvis along with broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Chief Wooten is the driving force behind a Jan. 24 spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help the family.
“It’s a sad, sad situation, and we want to try to make it a day that these folks know we care about them,” he said. “We care about Sonya.”
“Chief Wooten has been my daughter’s guardian angel and then some. I can’t begin to say the words how to thank that man,” said Martin.
Martin estimates his medical bills are nearly $1.5 million, and eventually, he will be the caregiver for his wife and daughter who will both be wheelchair-bound. But through it all, he plans to hold on to his faith.
A GoFundMe account for the family has already raised nearly $3,000.