A premature Lewiston baby was in stable condition at Primary Children's Medical Center after his helicopter ambulance was forced to land on a rural road in Cornish Thursday night during a severe snowstorm.
The pilot, Ernest Felix of Clearfield, spent the night at the home of Reese and Erma Naegle while a ground ambulance transported the baby and a nursing team to Salt Lake City, a ride that took more than four hours.Felix said heavy snow and strong winds had greatly reduced visibility and when he tried to circle northwest Cache County in order to avoid Wellsville Canyon, "I was just unable to continue."
Erma Naegle said her family was "pretty surprised" when a helicopter landed on the road in front of her house.
"Mr. Felix told us he was about out of fuel after circling around for so long when he saw the lights from our church. But at least they got the baby out safely," she said.
Ambulance attendants Dave Harston and Joe Cowley of the Logan Fire Department arrived in Salt Lake City about 4 a.m. Friday but were unable to return to Logan because of the storm.
Harston said they spent the rest of the night on cots furnished by the hospital.
Jill Hansen said her baby, Jeffrey Stewart Hansen, was born about 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Logan Regional Hospital, about four weeks premature. Doctors decided the infant should be transferred to Salt Lake City because of serious respiratory problems.
Although the baby is in the intensive care unit at Primary Children's, a spokeswoman said he was in stable condition late Friday.