MERCED, Calif. — The efforts of a Merced police officer "very likely" saved the life of a 7-year-old Merced girl who suffered major injuries Wednesday when she was struck by a vehicle, Sgt. Jay Struble reported.
The child was flown to a Sacramento hospital and is expected to fully recover, the Merced Police Department said in a prepared statement.
Struble said it was a stroke of luck that officer Samuel Sannadan happened on the scene at at 5:07 p.m. on West 13th St., near P Street, "just seconds after it happened" and immediately performed CPR.
"Had he not been right there just after it happened, it may have had a completely different outcome," Struble told the Sun-Star.
Sannadan was responding to an unrelated call when he spotted activity in the roadway and pulled over to investigate. The child had been playing with her mother and suddenly "just ran out into traffic," Merced police said.
She was struck by a 1995 GMC Safari driven by Macedonio Nava-Lozano. The 36-year-old Merced man swerved to the left and applied his brakes but was unable to avoid the collision, police said.
Struble credited Sannadan with saving the child's life.
"She quit breathing a couple of times, but her brain didn't go without oxygen for more than just a few seconds because he was there," Struble said.
The child suffered a concussion and numerous bruises on her arms and legs.
Investigators were not sure Wednesday night if the girl would survive, but said hospital staff reported early Thursday that they expect her to recover fully, Struble said.
Speed, drugs and alcohol were not factors in the collision, Struble said.
No other injuries were reported.
Nava-Lozano's vehicle was towed from the scene, police said, because he was driving without a license. He was not cited Wednesday.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Merced Police Department at (209) 385-4739 or the Tipster Line
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2013 the Merced Sun-Star