A four-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after being internally decapitated – where the skull is separated from the spine – in a car crash, Sky News reports.
Killian Gonzalez and his mother, Brandy, were driving home to Nevada last month after celebrating his fourth birthday when they were caught in a hail storm in Idaho.
Ms Gonzalez’s car skidded out of control on ice and she crashed head-on into another car. The crash was witnessed by a policeman and his wife who were driving down the hill back from a trip with their two children.
Leah and Joel Woodward heard the little boy screaming from inside the car as they rushed to help. The car doors were still locked and they were initially unable to reach Killian, but the policeman eventually managed to smash out the back window with the aid of a metal hitch.
It was then that they discovered the seriousness of Killian’s injuries. Mrs Woodward was instructed by her husband to hold the little boy’s head perfectly still until the emergency services arrived.
“I’m trying to stay calm but inside I’m panicking,” she told CBS-linked KBOI. “I’m thinking I don’t know what I’m doing, and it was the worst feeling I’ve ever had to not know how to help.”
Few people survive the condition and those who do usually require surgery, but Killian is expected to make a full recovery without the need for surgery. He is being treated in hospital for a broken arm and ribs, as well as the more serious injury.
His mother, meanwhile, is recovering in another hospital and has not seen her son since the accident. “It’s just so hard because I’m in the same town and I haven’t been able to see him,” Ms Gonzalez said.
“It’s just hard knowing he’s in so much pain and I can’t be there.”