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‘A whole lot to it;’ Firefighters describe methodical process to save life of boy pinned between two cars

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (First Alert 4) – A 9-year-old boy remains hospitalized after being hit by a truck and between two vehicles on Sunday morning. Tuesday, we learned more about how the St. Louis Fire Department got the boy free.

The family of Codi Walker tells us while the car was parked, the boy went to the back of a van to grab a toy and that’s when a black truck slammed into the back of the van, pinning the child.

According to the St. Louis Fire Department, it took around 25 minutes to rescue Codi Walker because they couldn’t immediately separate the two vehicles. That’s because, according to Chief Dennis Jenkerson, if they separated the vehicles too quickly, the child could have lost his life.

“Not a matter of taking a chain and pulling the car out, we have to make sure we’re able to see the entire victim and make sure everything is good to separate these parts,” said Chief Jenkerson.

Jenkerson told First Alert 4 about the complicated and methodical process that ultimately freed Codi Walker from being wedged between two vehicles.

“There’s a whole lot to it,” said Jenkerson.

He says they essentially took the car apart piece by piece, all while sedating the child and treating him medically at the same time.

“We don’t know if there’s any type of crushing wounds, if there are any type of penetration wounds, so if we just start separating things out, are we going to take that piece of that part and will the individual bleed out?” said Jenkerson.

St. Louis police say Kevin Johnson caused the crash and initially fled before turning himself in. They say he was driving fast down Broadway when he hit the back of the van, and Codi.

Johnson does have a criminal record from the 1990s and early 2000s—convicted of felonies in the past including robbery, stealing, selling drugs, and marijuana possession. Now he’s at the City Justice Center, being held on no bond.

All the while, Codi remains in the hospital.

“My nephew has so much trauma to him. Broken bones, crushed pelvis, his spine. My nephew, y’all, if you know anybody that prays, pray for Codi,” said Aquette Jackson, Codi’s aunt.

Jackson told First Alert 4 Tuesday it took time for rescue crews to get to the scene.

“It took the ambulance 27 minutes to get here,” said Jackson.

But the Fire Department’s data they shared with First Alert 4 indicates they came much sooner, saying they received the call at 11:04 a.m. Sunday—and the first unit arrived six minutes later. Another unit arrived a minute after that.

Jenkerson says without the first responders and their expertise, “it might have been a different outcome but they did a fantastic job.”

According to Jackson, Codi has a twin brother and three other siblings. He’s a 4th grader who she says only cares about making other people smile.