A 10-year-old girl is recovering after being impaled by a piece of a steel rebar while sledding in fresh snow Monday morning in northern Maryland. The accident happened in Jarrettsville when the left side of her back hit the steel bar buried in the snow.
"It was a pretty good size," said Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Rudy Walter to the Daily News on Feb. 3. He estimated the bar to be about an inch and a half or so in diameter.
In what can only be imagined to be a horror story, the 10-year-old girl's parents were nearby when she became impaled. They called 911 at about 11:30 a.m..
They ushered the other children into the house, while emergency personnel carefully worked to free the child. The slippery weather added to the difficulty in rescuing the girl.
Walter said it took 28 minutes to extract the child using a saw. He also said there were six inches of steel that were still sticking out of her from the bar that remained after they finished sawing.
The young girl was transported to Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital, where doctors said they'd be able to remove the rest of the bar.
"She was conscious the whole time for us, she was alert," Walter said, according to The Baltimore Sun. "That was a positive thing. Her father was comforting her; he did a great job."
Walter called the case unusual, noting sledding accidents typically involve impacting a tree, building or some other object, but not an impalement.
He said it points out the importance for parents to check and clear the area where their kids are sliding and playing. In this case the road the girl was sledding on was private, and Walter doesn't know if it was owned by the girl's family.
Initially though to be life-threatening injuries, officials now say they expect the child to recover.