Virginia Police Officers Save Choking Toddler During Traffic Stop

NBC Universal, Inc.

Three heroic Virginia police officers saved a little girl’s life during a traffic stop last week.

Fredericksburg honored the team for its quick thinking and staying calm under pressure while the toddler was choking.

“First thing I thought about was my own family,” said Fredericksburg police Officer C.A. Durham, who has a son who just turned one.

Durham says it started with a traffic stop for speeding on Emancipation Highway just after 4 a.m. May 19.

That routine traffic stop quickly took a turn when the driver explained his daughter was choking. She was in the backseat with her mom, not breathing.

“The girl was not, pretty much not moving and not responsive,” he said.

Durham called for backup and went to work.

“Picked her up, asked the dad to come with me in front of my patrol car where we had better light, flipped her on her stomach and just tried to do everything I could to open up her airway again,” he said.

Within minutes, Officers Kraft and Zecher arrived to help. By the time EMTs arrived, the little girl was breathing, alert and crying as she was taken to the hospital.

“If you’re crying, you’re breathing,” Officer C. Zecher said. “If you’re coughing, you’re breathing, so that’s a good sign.”

Durham said he’s received a lot of training over the years but sometimes there isn’t enough training when a call hits so close to home.

“Part of being in law enforcement is being able to keep calm,” Zecher said.

Days later, the Fredericksburg City Council recognized Durham, Zecher and Kraft for their efforts.

The officers say it’s not about the recognition; they’re just glad that little girl will get to see her third birthday.

“Moments like this it does, it is scary, but it’s another reminder as to why we got into doing this,” Durham said.

What caused the 2-year-old to choke is still unknown.

Contact Us