Miracle Baby: ‘I’m just thankful that I’m here’

miracle-baby

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Every family get-together with everyone gathered around the dinner table is extra special for Amy Walker. Every moment is a gift because 47 years ago, she became the miracle baby.

On February 27, 1970, about 19 miles west of Tillamook, Hwy 6 was the scene of one of the worst traffic accidents in Oregon’s history.

It was a head-on crash between 2 cars. State troopers rushed to the scene to help, finding 2 women dead in one car, 5 people dead in the other.

Almost 2 hours after the crash, when the wreckage was about to be towed away, someone heard a baby crying.

Seven were dead, but one little girl was very much alive.

The February 27, 1970 crash killed 7 people. (Tillamook Headlight Herald)
The February 27, 1970 crash killed 7 people. (Tillamook Headlight Herald)

 

The crash

Amy Walker was just 6-months-old when she was the sole survivor of the crash that left her aunt, uncle and 3-year-old sister dead.

“Everybody in the car had died except for me,” said Walker, who is now 47 years old.

The tiny baby ended up on the floor, wedged under the front dash, out of the sight of the rescuers.

Walker’s leg was broken in 2 places and she had a concussion.

“They said I was in shock for quite a while,” Walker said. “When I even saw my mom I didn’t really cry, I was just kind of blanked face and kind of withdrawn.”

Walker’s mother, a single mom, had asked her sister and brother-in-law to watch her daughters while she worked.

“My aunt’s friend was driving and his wife was in the front and my aunt and uncle were in the back with Toby, my sister,” Walker said “My aunt was 8 and a half months pregnant.”

“She felt like that if she hadn’t gone to work that day this wouldn’t have ever happened and she always tells me if I didn’t make it then she wouldn’t have either,” Walker said.

After the crash

Growing up, Walker had a lot to overcome. She was a little delayed in learning to walk and talk, but didn’t know why until she was 7 years old and her mom finally told her about the crash.

“She and the family have always called me the miracle baby,” Walker said.

The family has always watched out for Walker, including her sister, Lori Froomer, who was 7 years old when the crash happened.

“Our mother was incredibly protective of Amy,” Froomer said. “So it just permeated through everybody. All the children, ‘you have to look after this girl and make sure she’s OK.’ It was hard you know? It was hard.”

Amy Walker was just a baby when she survived a 1970 crash that killed 7 people. She was the only survivor. November 2016. (KOIN)
Amy Walker was just a baby when she survived a 1970 crash that killed 7 people. She was the only survivor. November 2016. (KOIN)

 

‘Cherish every moment of life’

Walker says it was by God’s grace that she survived that crash.

“Out of all those people, he felt that somebody needed to live,” she said. “Why he chose me, I don’t know, I guess it’s God’s grace of saying he believed in me and he wanted me to give back to my family.”

And she didn’t take that for granted. Walker and her husband, Rick, have been together for more than 20 years and raised 4 children: Haley, Ericka, Draven and Emma.

“That I treat people with love and cherish every moment in life, anything that I do is an example for my children and for others and I give my heart and give it to all,” Walker said. “And I’m just thankful that I’m here.”

Trooper Bud Ponsness stands near the wreckage of the crash that killed 7 people on February 27, 1970. (Tillamook Headlight Herald)
Trooper Bud Ponsness stands near the wreckage of the crash that killed 7 people on February 27, 1970. (Tillamook Headlight Herald)

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