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Fire Chief: "I can tell you the hurt is so bad today."

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Posted: Feb 22, 2012 5:22 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Feb 22, 2012 6:29 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 0.0 (0 votes)

Topics: St. Amant, First Responders, Shane Rojas, James LeBlanc, Toby Ragas, Deadly Crash

ST. AMANT- A haunting scene continues to play out in the minds of first responders and neighbors after a car crashed into a bayou in Ascension Parish. The crash killed two little girls.

It happened last night on LA 935 near Stringer Bridge Road.

The crash reduced even the most seasoned paramedics and rescue workers to tears.

Toby Ragas lives across the street and dialed 911 the minute he noticed the car in the water. He immediately jumped in to help.

"I seen bubbles and right around the bubbles I seen a little girl's hand," Ragas said. "I reached down because she was already underwater. By the grace of God, I caught her right around her elbow and I was able to pull her up and get her head above water."

Shane Rojas was the first Volunteer Firefighter on the scene.

Rojas said, "We arrived on the scene and the female was treading water above the vehicle hollering, help my babies, help my babies!"

Although firefighters train for situations like this, there's nothing that could have been done to save the girls inside. St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc told News 2, the current was extremely strong in the bayou.

"Just being on the bank last night and having command of this whole scene and knowing you've got first responders and firefighters in the water and you know those two babies are strapped in the backseat of that car and there's nothing you can do--it just takes all your will power away," he said.

Once divers were called in, the bodies of the two girls trapped inside were recovered within minutes. He called the pain first responders feel unimaginable.

"People think firefighters and fire chiefs are made out of stainless steel," LeBlanc said. "I can tell you the hurt is so bad today."

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