The man who rushed to rescue a family trapped in a mangled car said he heard a child screaming and knew he had to help.
"We heard tires screeching and we came out and we (saw) the car coming through with a lot of debris," recalled Jim Card, whose 130 South Main Street property in the Terryville section of Plymouth was the scene of a deadly collision Monday night. "There was a flash of gray and a lot of debris and dust... and then I heard the crash."
That crash took the lives of a 29-year-old mother, Melissa Odelius, and her 5-year-old son, George, who went by Patrick.
Card said he knew right away the woman was dead, but heard the cry of a toddler who had survived.
"I heard a little boy screaming inside, so I ran over and he was hanging upside down in the car," Card explained. "I ran in the garage, grabbed a pair of scissors, came back over. We were able to cut the seatbelts and get the little boy out."
His wife called 911.
"There was a bad crash in my driveway," she told a dispatcher in a recording of the 911 call. "I think they hit the building...The whole fence is taken out."
Card said he sat in the driveway with his back to the crumpled car, holding the 3-year-old, named Thomas.
"He was scared. He wanted his mommy," Card said. "I told him his mom was... he needed to stay with me; his mom was being helped."
He said the boy, who was in shock, had blood on his ear and in his hair. Paramedics arrived and fitted Thomas with a neck brace before loading him into an ambulance.
"The car seat saved his life," Card said.
The child remains at the hospital in serious but stable condition.
"I really don't want to see that ever again, what I (saw) in that car," Card said. "We're really sorry for the loss and we're going to try and pick up the pieces as best we can and move forward."