12:00 PM EST, January 3, 2012
Mindy Andersen choked up as she thanked the strangers who saved her children from a horrific death in an icy river.
"I love them. I will be forever grateful. They are my hero's in every sense of the word," Andersen said at a news conference.
Andersen's husband, Roger was driving on a snowy mountain road in Utah with his four-year-old son Baylor, and nine-year-old daughter, Mia, and her nine-year-old friend, Kenya Wildman in back.
His Honda Accord skidded, plunged into the river, and flipped over.
"So the first thought was, 'This it how it ends.' Within a second, the entire cabin was filled with water," said Roger.
The three children were trapped in their seat belts. As Andersen battled to get the kids out, other drivers pulled over and raced into action.
Eight Good Samaritans leapt into the icy water to help free the kids from the overturned car.
One of the rescuers, an ex-cop, actually took out his revolver and shot out a window to get to the trapped children.
Little Baylor Andersen had to be given CPR at the scene and was brought back to life.
One of the rescuars said, "I just dropped to my knees and listened for a breath out of his mouth and any movement out of his chest."
All the three kids are now back home and doing fine.
The rescue brings to mind that other extraordinary drama in Utah, when Good Samaritans lifted a blazing car to rescue the motorcyclist pinned underneath.
At the news conference, both sets of relieved parents were overcome with emotion as they thanked the strangers who saved their children.
Roger praised the Samaritans at the conference saying, "These people, who were at the scene, without hesitation. They did what they had to do and that for our family, made all the differance."
Little Kenya Wildman's parents also expressed graditude saying, "We want to say thank you, we really appreciate it, from the bottom of our hearts."