A 2-year-old boy has regained a pulse and started breathing again after being retrieved from Tutuilla Creek in Pendleton on Sunday.
According to a press release from the Pendleton Police Department, police arrived in the Grecian Heights Park area, near the intersection of Tutuilla Road and Southwest Athens Avenue, at 12:13 p.m., responding to a report of a missing child.
When they arrived, police determined that the child had been missing for 3 to 5 minutes and that friends, family, and residents were already searching for the child in the area and the creek running adjacent to the park. Three minutes after police arrived, the boy was located in the creek a half-mile downstream from the park, near the intersection of Tutuilla Road and Nye Avenue.
Officer Chase Addleman and Cpl. Nathan Bessette performed CPR on the boy until paramedics arrived.
Interim Fire Chief Paul Berardi said the Pendleton Fire Department responded to the scene at 12:19 p.m., where they were handed the child by Pendleton police.
Berardi said paramedics treated the child at the scene for 20 minutes, but they could not detect breathing or a pulse.
Just as a helicopter from Life Flight arrived, first responders made the decision to transport the child themselves to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton.
Just after 2 p.m., Berardi said the fire department received an update that the child had started breathing again and regained a pulse. The child has since been transported by helicopter to a hospital in Spokane, according to police.
“We are hopeful about a good outcome,” Berardi said.
The police department’s press release lists the child as being in critical condition.
Berardi said he didn’t know how the child ended up in the creek or how he was retrieved. Police didn’t provide information on what led to him entering the creek, but encouraged people with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the near drowning to contact the police department.
Police Chief Stuart Roberts did not return multiple messages left on his cellphone and office phone.
Local rivers and creeks have flowed strongly in recent weeks due to snowmelt in the Blue Mountains and recent rainstorms.