7 month-old baby Valle Hernandez survives being trapped in washing machine

November 17th, 2009 by

www.nydailynews.com – Scrub-a-dub-dub, there’s a baby in the tub!

A 7-month-old survived a soapy spin in a washing machine in D’Iberville, Miss.

The horrifying ordeal turned Valle Hernandez bloodied and blue, but he seems to be on the mend, authorities said Monday.

Mom Irazu Hernandez was doing the wash Nov. 10 while her boys played nearby. Authorities think she turned her back for a “split-second” when the baby climbed in the washing machine and his 4-year-old brother innocently shut the door.

The side-loading washer had already been loaded with soap and quarters. So once the door slammed closed it locked and the machine flooded with water.

“He was trapped inside,” said Captain Keith Davis of the D’Iberville Police Department.

The mother freaked when she figured out her baby was locked inside, Davis said. Frantic, she ran to Mikey’s Café & Oyster House next door, where she found Mike Adams closing up his family’s restaurant.

The mom didn’t speak much English, so it took Adams a while to discern her distress, he said.

“I could see she was getting more frantic, then I caught a bit and piece about a baby and the laundromat, so I ran next door,” he said. “When I got down there they was pointing at the washing machine and saying ‘Baby!’ I just couldn’t believe it.”

Adams threw all his weight into jerking open the door. The lock prevented it from opening more than a few inches.

“I pulled on it the best I could, and water would run out and it would stop spinning,” Adams said. “I held it that way until a guy that works for me, he come, and another guy, maybe the dad, we all yanked on it.”

Finally, the stainless steel door popped open.

“All I remember was a lot of screaming and crying and hollering,” Adams said, shuddering. “It was horrible to see a baby like that. He was solid purple. He had blood coming from his nose and his head was busted open.”

Another restaurant employee rushed in and started administering CPR. An ambulance arrived, and police and fire fighters followed soon after.

Baby Valle was taken to the Biloxi Regional Medical Center, about three miles south of D’Iberville, an 8,000-person town. Then, he was transferred to the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Ala.

“He’s doing fine now, though he has some bruising on his forehead,” Davis said. “We all think it was a freak accident.”


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