PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Forty-seven years after a head-on crash killed 3 members of her family, Amy Walker is still the “miracle baby.”
At 6-months-old, Walker was rescued from that deadly crash on Hwy 6 with a broken leg, concussion and her whole life ahead of her.
The Oregon State Trooper who heard the baby’s cries from inside the wreckage was Bud Ponsness, who served for 18 years with the state police in Tillamook.
Ponsness died in 1998, but 47 years after he rescued Walker from that deadly crash, she got a chance to meet his family.
“Thank you for having such an amazing father and husband,” Walker told them. “He really touched me and my family.”
Ponsness’s wife, Mitzi, said her husband could never forget what happened that day.
Seven people died, including Walker’s aunt and uncle, their 2 friends, Walker’s 3-year-old sister and 2 women in another car.
After he got Walker out of the car, Ponsness held her while he directed traffic until a passing motorist stopped and held her so he could work.
His daughter, Jodi, was only 12 years old at the time, but she remembers how the crash devastated her father.
“I’ve never seen my dad like that before,” Jodi said. “He had big bags under his eyes, he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat. He roamed the house at night. He was tormented by what he saw and what he experienced.”
His son Jeff said if his father was able to meet Walker now, he would give her a hug.
“I think he’d be surprised that after all these years that the little girl he held in his arms is here,” he said. “And he would say he was fortunate to be there and obviously got [you] out.”