10-year-old girl impaled during sledding accident

A 10-year old girl was impaled in a sledding accident in Jarrettsville during Monday morning's snowfall.

The child was impaled by a piece of rebar while sledding in the 3600 block of Anderson Lane, Rich Gardiner, spokesperson for Harford County Fire and EMS, said.


Gardiner said the patient was transported to a regional pediatric shock trauma unit around noon. She has since been released and is at home.

The girl was impaled "in the back," Gardiner said.


The girl was found at 11:34 a.m. "lying on her side on a little slope with a piece of rebar sticking out of her," Jarrettsville Fire Company Chief Rudy Walter said.

Her parents were with her and Walter said he believes other siblings were told to go inside after the incident.

Emergency personnel used a reciprocating saw to separate the girl from the rebar in about 20 minutes, a task that was made harder by the weather, Walter said.

"It was slippery and we were trying to be as cautious and careful as we can," he said. "We were able to finally cut through that, which left a piece of about 6 inches hanging out of her."

The girl was loaded onto a backboard and taken by ambulance to The Children's Hospital at Johns Hopkins, he said.

She had surgery to remove the remaining piece of rebar and check for internal injury.

"She was conscious the whole time for us, she was alert," Walter said. "That was a positive thing. Her father was comforting her; he did a great job."

Although the girl's injuries were considered life-threatening at the time, Walter said he expects her to recover.

"She was pretty fortunate in this case where it looks like she's going to be OK, but it could have always been worse," he said.

The child was released from the hospital, the fire company announced Tuesday afternoon.

Fire officials declined to give the child's or family's name, citing confidentiality laws, and the hospital would not release any information on the incident without her name.

"We were contacted by family of the subject involved in the sledding accident yesterday and was advised that they are home, walking and making a full recovery," a post on Jarrettsville fire company's Facebook page said Tuesday.


"Good job to Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company for working together during this unique incident and in adverse weather conditions," the post said.

Walter said Tuesday he had not heard about her condition until he got the call from the family.

"We did get a report from the father that she underwent surgery," he said. "It was kind of him to call."

"She was just really, really lucky," he said. "Everything just clicked yesterday – great response time for fire and EMS, crews were there to stabilize her, she was taken to one of the best hospitals in the state and obviously underwent some great treatment."

On Monday, Walter had called the incident unusual.

"We do get sledding accidents but [usually] what happens is the child or an adult ran into a tree, they ran into a building or they ran into another person. We get nothing that they are impaled," he said.

He called it a good reminder for parents or guardians to clear the areas where children might be sledding.

"When it starts snowing, kids can't always see things," he said.

The Maryland Shock Trauma Center's Go Team, called to emergency scenes which might require some advanced medical support, was requested, but later canceled, Gardiner said.

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