Here are family photos of Dangyong Yang, Jinglei Yi and their son Leo Yang. (Photo: Yang Family)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A little boy is fighting to hold on, his mother is now gone, and his father is devastated.
Monday Jinglei Yi and her 5-year-old son's SUV hit black ice and plunged into a pond. The father of the family said he's in so much pain, he doesn't know where he'll go from here.
"I came right away," Dangyong Yang said through tears.
Winter Ice blanketed Arkansas streets Monday morning. Dangyong Yang, a surgery tech, saw a call coming in on his cell phone just as he was scrubbing up for surgery. Just nine minutes earlier, his wife made a chilling call to 911.
"Yes, I'm falling down in a pond, and the water is in the car right now," Yi said to a 911 operator as her SUV was sinking. At this point, the water is about 2 feet up her leg.
"She said 'Me and my son have gone into the water.' I said 'Where are you?' 'Some water is in the car,' she says, 'It is almost to my knees,'" Yang said.
Yang rushed to the scene from work at St. Vincent's in Sherwood.
"I didn't see any car over there. I just saw in the water bubbles coming up," he described.
Now the 911 dispatcher is under fire. Due to an error, police said it took 43 minutes for a water rescue unit to arrive.
"Some firefighter is changing, preparing to go into the water, I tell him this is too long, it's too late, too late," Yang explained.
Divers said within 5 minutes of arrival they rescued both Yi and her son, but for Yang's wife, it was too late. Her body not able to handle the amount of water she had taken in.
Yang was a cardiovascular surgeon in China and is able to read his son's charts. He said his son's brain was without oxygen for a while. He has not woken up, but is showing improvement.
Yang said he hopes his wife's death brings awareness to the street near where the accident happened. He said during ice and rain the road presents a constant hazard.
As for the 911 operator, police said she did not enter a call into a Little Rock computer system that would have properly notified fire and police.