After body camera footage showed the moment a mother’s 10-month-old daughter was rescued from a locked car, the mom is now speaking out.
According to WPTV, the Florida mom says she wants people to learn from her harrowing experience.
In her interview, Christina Tufford detailed the minutes that led up to her accidentally locking her baby, Maddie, in her car. She told WPTV that she and her little girl took a drive over to the local Lowe’s “to do some flower potting.”
It was when they were leaving the store that things went wrong.
As Tufford explained, after making their purchases, Tufford walked back to the car, put Maddie in her car seat, used her remote car starter to get the air conditioning running, placed her keys on the seat, and started unloading her goods.
However, after getting everything in the car and closing all of the doors, Tufford realized she had accidentally locked herself out of the car and her daughter inside of the vehicle.
Knowing that her car had OnStar capabilities, she quickly called the company hoping, that even though her account was expired, they would reactivate it on the spot so that they could unlock her car:
“I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll pay whatever amount of money it takes. Just please reactivate my service so you guys can unlock my car.”
However, when the representative she was talking with said they couldn’t do that for her, panic began to set it, and she quickly dialed 911.
Tufford told WPTV that it was just before the responding officer, Officer Kyle Osinga, arrived that the automatic car starter had timed out:
“More panic was setting in because time was running out.”
However, after several minutes of Officer Osinga and a tow truck driver worked on getting Tufford’s car doors unlocked, Maddie was still trapped inside.
Osinga told the mom to try OnStar again. Still, they said they could not help her. The officer admitted to WPTV that he also began to “freak out”:
“I check on the kid a little bit later and the kid is not okay anymore. The head’s down and the eyes are closed. That’s when the adrenaline, that’s when I start to freak out.”
That’s when Osinga started to use his police baton to try breaking the window. When it didn’t work, he rushed to his car to find a window punch just as a Good Samaritan ran over with a punch of their own in an attempt to help.
Finally, after breaking through one of the windows, Tufford was reunited with her daughter. She told WPTV that Maddie was “very lethargic, wasn’t breathing good. I happened to have a whole thing of water bottles, poured water on her.”
Thankfully, Maddie was okay, but the mom said she wanted to share her story so that others can “learn from her experience.”
The first thing she wants people to realize is that your car can lock automatically even with a remote car start and that, if your OnStar account is expired, they cannot help you.