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Father arrested after toddlers fall out of van

Posted at 3:08 AM, May 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-06 03:08:29-04

SHEBOYGAN, WI (WITI/CNN) – While a Wisconsin father was allegedly operating his vehicle under the influence, good Samaritans saved his two little boys, who fell out of the van and into the road.

Samaritan Alexis Heckert was driving her car Tuesday evening with her friend Olivia Fenske in the passenger seat when the doors on the cargo van in front of them swung open, and something fell in the path of their vehicle.

At first, the two women thought it had been tools, but they soon realized it was toddlers.

"If I would not have stopped within like five seconds, I would have hit them because it was that close to us,” Heckert said.

The women got out of their car, running to the children, ages 1 and 2, and getting them out of the road.

“I picked one of the babies up. He was completely naked, and then someone else picked up the second baby,” Heckert said.

The van driver didn’t seem to notice the incident, the good Samaritans say.

"The van just kept on going so fast. The van didn't stop,” Heckert said.

Emergency officials responded, and the women handed the young boys over to paramedics but insisted on driving to the hospital.

"We did not want to let go,” Heckert said. “He kept saying, 'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.' So, it was so sad. I was just shaking, and it was so sad. I can't get the image out of my head."

Meanwhile, police found the driver, who turned out to be the boys’ father.

"Made contact at the home and ended up arresting the father for child neglect and also a fifth offense of operating a motor vehicle while impaired,” Lt. Douglas Tennison said.

The 40-year-old has four prior OWI convictions in the state, according to Tennison.

Police say the man didn’t know his sons fell out of the van and onto the road.

"We're just really grateful for the citizens that immediately jumped into action to help these children,” Tennison said.

Police say one child is still hospitalized with a skull fracture. The other is being cared for a relative while the investigation continues.

It’s not clear if the father was drunk or on medication.

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