Deputies: Off-duty nurse saves child from car crash 

Photo courtesy of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

This story was updated on June 12, 2023 at 5:35 p.m.

A two-vehicle collision near the intersection of Jason Drive and Flynn Drive in Canyon Country on Sunday morning resulted in one car smashing into a fire hydrant, a child being rescued and an arrest, according to Lt. Richard O’Neal, watch commander for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.  

As a result, one of the cars, a white four-door sedan, had its back end suspended in the air from the force of the water gushing from the hydrant.  

In the car was a trapped child, who was valiantly saved by Shawn Spencer — an off-duty nurse who works for Providence St. Elizabeth Care Center in North Hollywood. Spencer was on the scene of the crash before first responders arrived.  

“It’s kind of an interesting case,” said O’Neal.  

Spencer lives in an apartment right in front of where the crash happened and said his first concern was his apartment flooding from all the water. But, upon seeing the situation his instincts as a health care provider kicked in.  

He first noticed the driver of the car had injuries and assisted him out of the vehicle. As he did so, he noticed a child in the car. Spencer said this was when his instincts as a father kicked in.  

Without any shoes on, he went around to the passenger side of the vehicle to see if he could reach the child from there.  

“I tried to come around the passanger side to see if I could pull the child out but the water pressure was a little higher on that side,” said Spencer.  

He then walked back around the car and climbed to the back of the car — which was still suspended in the air from the water pressure — from the driver’s seat and pulled the child to safety.  

Spencer was humble when recounting what happened.  

“Anybody else that was in this situation would do the same thing, so I don’t want to make it seem like I’m a hero, you know,” said Spencer. “Like I said. .. anybody else in the same situation would have responded the same way.” 

Spencer added that he’s just grateful everyone in the situation come out of it safely.  

Once deputies arrived on the scene, the driver of the white sedan, a 26-year-old Canyon Country resident, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.  

It’s unknown, at the time of this publication, if additional charges such as child endangerment will be added.  

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