Andrew Leich miraculously saved his 4-month-old son Hayden’s life when a driver, who had suffered a heart attack at the wheel, lost control of her vehicle and, while traveling around 45 mph (70 km/h), plowed into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk in Penrith, West Sydney, Australia.
The vehicle sent most of the pedestrians flying, but it pinned Andrew and Hayden to the front of a real estate broker’s office, as shown in the photo above. Andrew and Hayden are highlighted inside the circle in the photo.
Leich says he will never forget the miraculous moment when he saved his son. “I don’t have to be reminded of it, it’s more or less the first thing that comes up in my mind straight away. It just goes ‘ting’ first thing (when I awake in the morning),” he said.
Leich had no time to think and said he reacted instinctively to protect Hayden as the car bore down upon his family. Moments before the car hit them, Leich had managed to turn slightly shielding Hayden from the power of the collision.
“I can take the hit, that’s what I was thinking, I can repair, there’s no way he’s gonna repair,” said Leich. “So I thought if they hit the back of me, that’s fixable. He’s not fixable.”
Michael Ball, the owner of the real estate office the vehicle crashed into was also on the sidewalk beginning to enter his office when the incident unfolded. As he saw the vehicle hurtling toward him he jumped back out of its path, thereby saving himself, but he also witnessed the entire accident. “It was amazing that he actually didn’t let go of the child at all,” said Ball. “The whole time he had his son in his arms and just didn’t let go.”
Leich’s instincts were correct because Hayden survived the ordeal without a scratch.
The accident occurred on July 2, 2008, but the video was just released this week. Leich was walking with his son, his mum, Caroline Leich, and his father, David Leich.
In the video Leich states that after he realized his son was unharmed, he immediately worried about his parents. In the photo above inside the highlighted circle, Leich’s mum, Caroline, can be seen flying by after being struck by the runaway car.
Both Caroline and David Leigh were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but they have since recovered after spending months in the hospital. Leich and the car’s driver’s injuries were not critical in nature, and they too have recovered.
Leich now feels happy every time he looks at his son. “He’s lucky to be here, but in a way… he wasn’t meant to go that day, neither was mum, neither was dad,” he said.
1) “Crash video of father saving baby emerges.” 9News. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1050641/crash-video-of-father-saving-baby-emerges. Retrieved 5/17/2010
2) “Miracle Crash.” A Current Affair – MSN. http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/miracle-crash/xupdmdx. Retrieved 5/17/2010