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UDOT employees credited with saving 8-year-old girl in Lehi crash

By Alex Cabrero, KSL TV | Posted - Mar. 5, 2021 at 8:46 p.m.



LEHI – Utah Department of Transportation employees were being called heroes after their quick actions helped save an 8-year-old girl who was critically injured in a crash on Interstate 15 near Lehi on Thursday.

One of those men said it felt like forever from the time he arrived at the scene of the crash to when the girl started to breathe again.

We've all experienced the frustration of rush hour traffic. It's pretty much nonstop, especially when passing through Lehi on I-15 during daylight hours. You'll see cars everywhere.

"All day long," said Ben Goddard with a smile.

Goddard works with the Utah Department of Transportation Incident Management team, which patrols the interstate looking for people who need help.

While most people don't care much for traffic, it keeps Goddard from having a boring day. "You bet. We see everything under the sun," he said.

Fortunately, though, what he saw Thursday afternoon does not happen very often.

"It definitely is a surreal experience when you're in the moment," said Goddard. Just before rush hour on I-15 in Lehi, Goddard and a coworker saw a crash happen right in front of them.

A car hit one of the cement barriers, and an 8-year-old girl who was in that car was critically injured.

"We were able to get her out of the vehicle," said Goddard. "Not breathing, no pulse." Right away, Goddard and his colleague used their medical training to try and get her breathing again.

Goddard has four daughters and a son of his own and could not stop thinking about his own family.

"This definitely hits home. You put your family out there. While we were working on the little girl, it definitely was one of my kids at that moment," he said.

Eventually, the girl started breathing.

Even Utah Highway Patrol troopers who arrived at the accident scene said there's a good chance Goddard and his colleague, as well as two nurses who were in that traffic and stopped, saved her life.

"It made a huge difference. I think that we may have had a completely different outcome had they not been there," said one of the troopers on scene Thursday.

Goddard said he and his team are always there because flat tire, out of gas, or worse, they're ready to help.

"I'm just grateful we were in the right place at the right time," said Goddard.

On Friday, Goddard said he heard the 8-year-old was stable and doing better at a local hospital.

"We're just ecstatic at the outcome," he said.

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Alex Cabrero

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