Updated 08/16/2012 08:19 AM
Children Strapped in Stroller Rescued from Erie Canal
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Two young children were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital after U of R medical students and first responders rescued them from the Erie Canal near Genesee Valley Park on Wednesday.
Police say 48-year-old John Clanton of Florida man and his two eight-year-old children were in town visiting someone at the Ronald McDonald House on Westmoreland Drive. Around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, police say Clanton decided to take his kids for a walk along the nearby Erie Canal.
Police say Sam and Selah Clanton were both in a two-person stroller.
"At some point in time, it is not known, he lost control of the stroller, the stroller went into the canal, the stroller was submerged underwater,” said Sgt. Justin Collins of the Rochester Police Department.
Police say a passerby called 911, and another who was on a bike went to get help.
"A lifeguard jumped in the water in addition to the father to try and get the stroller out,” said Collins.
The people who jumped in the water to help were actually first-year students at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry who had only been on campus for a few days. They were all together nearby at a picnic.
“The way it was described to me was that they didn’t hesitate, they ran, they got to the canal, they took some clothing off, that's all I know, and jumped in immediately without stopping… they were able to get a boy out of the stroller, and I believe it was Lindsay who swam with the boy over to the bank and David and Sarah pulled him out,” said Michael Wentzel, URMC spokesman.
First responders say it took about seven minutes from the time the call came into 911 to the time that they were able to get the stroller out of the water.
"Ladders and ropes were brought down to the scene, they were dropped down the wall, they’re secured by brute force or by tying them off and we pull them up,” said Ted Kuppinger, Rochester Fire Department.
The children were immediately transported to Strong Memorial Hospital. Sam Clanton and Selah are both listed in guarded condition. Their father, John Clanton, was treated and released.