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Teen making miraculous recovery after horrific I-10 crash

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BATON ROUGE- It's a happy ending to a terrible accident last month in which a car crashed into a guardrail on I-10 at Siegen, leaving a teenage girl trapped inside the mangled car.

Just weeks later, the people who were first on the scene are recalling what they call a horrific accident.

“I was scared for her, so I knew she was scared," said Jackie O’Keefe, a paramedic for East Baton Rouge EMS "So I needed to be there for her, I needed to be in the car with her.” 

O'Keefe was one of the first paramedics on the scene of the horrific crash. While she responds to calls every day, she says this incident was different.

“They were cutting the car literally around her,” O’Keefe said.

Fellow paramedic on the scene, George Steffensen, said he knew it was bad once he got a good look inside the car.

“The realization came when I was actually able to see Emma's legs.” Steffensen said.

When the paramedics arrived to the crash scene, they found 16-year-old Emma Scherer trapped inside the car, legs broken, with no way out.

First responders were forced to cut the car apart, while Scherer was still inside.

“I wasn't certain her legs were still even attached, we couldn't see her feet,” O’keefe said, shaking her head.

While the memory of the accident is still fresh in the paramedic’s minds, it’s also a fresh memory for the survivor.

“I remember the two that were in the car with me, it was George and Jackie,” Scherer said from her Baton Rouge Rehab Hospital bed.

Only weeks since the crash, doctors are calling her recovery a miracle. Emma is steadily beating the odds, standing and walking with a walker this week. This is huge progress for the teen, who doctors thought would be losing her legs.

Scherer said she wouldn't be here without the first responders who saved her life.

“They truly saved my life. Firemen came to see me. It’s kind of crazy looking at the people who literally saved your life, pulled you out of car and got you here,” Scherer said.

It was also the first responder's constant support and visits that Emma said helped give her strength.

Since the accident, paramedics, firefighters, and hundreds of others have visited Emma’s hospital bedside regularly.

The paramedics and Emma say they plan to stay close throughout her recovery and into the future.

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