Florida deputies and firefighters saved Christmas for one family when they formed a human chain to retrieve presents from a car that ended up in a ditch filled with water after the mother crashed into a pole.
A mother was driving her three young children – with the oldest being about five years old – on Interstate 95 at about 11:45 a.m. on Christmas Day when her vehicle veered off the highway, struck a pole, rolled and ended up in a ditch with about three feet of water, according to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.
Bystanders helped the family out of the vehicle before first responders arrived at the scene.
Though the family suffered only minor injuries from the crash, the children’s Christmas presents remained trapped in the submerged vehicle.
After the victims were transported by ambulance to a local hospital, the deputies and Ormond Beach firefighters used a ladder to reach the vehicle and salvage most of the gifts.
The first responders formed a human chain on the ladder, with the firefighters passing the presents to deputies, who moved them to dry land.
“Because of these efforts, deputies were able to transport the gifts to the VSO office, where they were sorted, dried, supplemented with a few extra donated gifts, and then brought to the hospital for the children,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
“[T]his family’s Christmas is a little bit brighter despite the crash,” the sheriff’s office added.