TOOELE — Police are awaiting results of a blood test obtained from a man responsible for driving an all-terrain vehicle when a young girl was killed Sunday afternoon.
Seven-year-old Miranda Anderson was seated in front of driver Chad Tharp, 32, when the two veered off a road and into some trees in Middle Canyon just after 2 p.m., said Tooele County spokesman Wade Matthews. A low-hanging branch ruptured an artery in Anderson's neck, Matthews said.
Emergency personnel were unable to revive the girl, and she was pronounced dead at a Tooele hospital.
Tharp was treated at the hospital with a knee injury, Matthews said. Toxicology results are not expected until later this week.
Jeff Schuemaker, a CPR instructor, is a frequent visitor to Middle Canyon. When he got home from church Sunday, he felt a persistent prompting to drive up and see whether the canyon gate had been opened for the season.
Instead, he came upon the accident, and found a man carrying a little girl in his arms and yelling for help.
"He said, 'My little girl's not acting right. She's not breathing,'" Schuemaker said of Chad Tharp, calling him frantic and scared.
The two men put Miranda in the car and headed back down the canyon to call 911. Dispatchers instructed them to stop and perform CPR. Schuemaker did chest compressions while coaching Tharp, who Schuemaker identified as Miranda's father, in doing rescue breathing.
Initially, Schuemaker said he thought the girl might survive, though he was unsure how long she had been unconscious. He noticed the laceration on her neck, but the men didn't stop CPR until paramedics arrived.
"Of course, (doubt) always crosses your mind, but I just kept on," he said. "We teach you, once you start CPR, you continue CPR until you become too exhausted, advanced medical help arrives, the scene becomes unsafe or the person regains consciousness. … We tried everything."
Schuemaker offered his sympathy for the frightened father now facing the loss of his daughter.
"He was a typical father, and even I, if my child was injured that bad, I don't know if I would know what to do," he said.
Schuemaker said he has been a CPR instructor with the Red Cross for 20 years and an EMT for 15 years.
Contributing: Jennifer Stagg