Two quick-thinking teens helped rescue a baby girl whose mother was killed in an Illinois car crash.
Hunter Hasenjaeger, 16, and Collin Barry, 17, were on their way home from a friend’s house just after midnight on June 30 when they came upon a devastating collision near Ridge Road in Minooka.
“We could see smoke and the car on the left side [of the road],” Hasenjaeger told InsideEdition.com.
The dark and desolate country road was covered in debris, and people already on the scene were screaming, they said.
“They were screaming, saying there was a baby in the car, and we could hear the baby screaming and crying,” Hasenjaeger said.
The boy's didn't think twice, jumping into action.
As Hasenjaeger shined a light into the damaged Chrysler 300, Barry reached inside, working to enter the car and free the 1-year-old girl from her seat.
Her mother, 27-year-old Alexis Danley of Shorewood, was in bad condition in the front seat, they said.
“I just kept telling the mom that her baby was OK and that she was OK and that she’d be fine,” Hasenjaeger said. “She couldn’t really respond, but I knew that she most likely heard me.”
As they waited for police to arrive, the teens comforted Danley’s daughter, who by that time had settled in to Barry’s arms.
They took a photo of the little girl to show her family that she was not harmed.
“We took her out and she quit crying,” Barry said. "The baby was so peaceful, like she wasn’t crying or anything, so if the family was gonna see [what happened], just wanted them to know the baby wasn’t freaking out or anything."
Danley’s daughter was transported to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Joliet for evaluation and was later released to family members.
Danley, who was six months pregnant, died at the scene.
She had been driving north on Ridge Road when she was hit by a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado that was traveling south, police said.
After hitting Danley, the driver of the Chevrolet, 23-year-old Jacob Kaminski, 23, spun around and slammed into a 1999 Toyota Camry. That car’s three occupants were not injured.
Kaminski was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.
Possible charges are pending as authorities await the results of toxicology reports.
“It makes me angry that someone would be so selfish and put other people’s lives in danger,” Hasenjaeger said.
Since the incident, Hasenjaeger has visited Danley’s loved ones, bringing brownies, lasagna and water for the family and a teddy bear for the little girl.
“I just felt like it was the right thing to do,” he said. “[People need] to keep the family in their prayers.”
On Friday, Hasenjaeger and Barry attended Danley’s wake. Both teens shot down the suggestion that they acted bravely, saying it was the right thing to do.
"I think that’s what anyone would do — what anyone should do," Barry said.
"I don’t think I’m a hero in any way," Hasenjaeger agreed. "That’s how me and Collin are every day, just trying to help people."