BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (KMSP) - Four people remain in the hospital including the wrong way driver that caused a head-on crash on Interstate 494 that killed two women. Had it not been for quick action by first responders and bystanders, it could have been even worse.
On the cold pavement of 494, the universe made its choice, two lives ending in a split second
"Your heart just kind of drops when you realize there are multiple people in the car," Tommy Bittner said.
Bittner was headed home Friday when just in front of him a Jeep SUV was hit head-on by a car headed the wrong way.
"At this point, there wasn't any emergency personnel for the first minute or two, and it feels like an eternity," Bittner said
In the moments that followed, Bittner and a lone police officer rushed to the scene. They extinguished a fire starting in the SUV and broke the windows to pull people out.
"This policeman and I just reached in and started throwing luggage out so we could inside, get in the backseat," Bittner said
What they found inside was heartbreaking. The driver was dead and the front and back seat passengers were unconscious. And then they heard a sound.
"I heard a whimper, and then we realized there wasn't just three people in the vehicle," Bittner said
Bittner and first responders who were now arriving at the scene began CPR on the two-year-old child and using a defibrillator to restart the young boy's heart.
"We were eventually able to get a small murmur of a pulse, but it wasn't anything significant," Bittner said
The child and two others from the car would survive.
His hands cut, his reflective vest melted, Bittner says he's thankful for the first responder courses that helped him save a life, but wishes it had never happened.
"It just makes you really think about your life when you are doing chest compressions on a two-year-old on 494. It makes you ask the question, 'why not me?'" Bittner said.
At least two other motorists also helped first responders in the moments after the collision.
The state patrol says the cause of crash, including whether or not alcohol played a factor, remains under investigation.