Local News

Family reunites with soldier who saved baby

Posted September 30, 2015 6:54 p.m. EDT
Updated October 1, 2015 5:23 a.m. EDT

— A soldier is being credited with saving a baby's life after the infant became stuck in a flipped car on N.C. Highway 85 near Spring Lake last month.

Caitlin Coffeen, the child's mother, said she was driving through a rainstorm on Aug. 11 when she crashed. She said if it were not for the actions and quick thinking of Sgt. 1st class Joshua Farrell, her baby may not have survived.

On Wednesday, baby Liam and Farrell met for the first time since the crash. Farrell said he still remembers the day well.

"I said, 'Are you OK?' and she said, 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I just have some cuts.' Then I said, 'Is there anyone else in the vehicle?' And then panic hit her face and she said, 'My baby,'" Farrell said.

Without a second thought, Farrell said he climbed through the back of the Honda SUV.

Coffeen said she can hardly stand to think about what could have happened if Farrell had not stopped.

"I was panicking, I was crying," she said. "I was screaming, I was waving my hands trying to flag people down. I was hysterical."

Farrell said it was divine intervention that brought him to the crash site. He got off of work early and wanted to pull off the road due to the heavy rain.

"I usually listen to my gut and I was really determined to pull over," he said. "Something told me to just push on, you're fine, push on, so I pushed on. Had I not, I don't know what that results would have been."

Farrell, a father of three, said he would expect someone to do the same for his family.

"It's the human thing to do. To help somebody in their time of need," he said.

Coffeen said her son did not suffer any injuries in the crash.