EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

March 25, 2014

Editorial: A lesson in self-sacrifice from a young mother

Safety experts say one of the worst things you can do if your car starts rolling on its own is to try to stop it.

Unless you’re a super hero, the car will get the better of you.

But parental instinct outweighs the experts’ advice if your two daughters are buckled inside that moving vehicle.

So it was for Mindy Tran on the evening of March 6, when she strapped her 2-year-old twins, Saleen and Sydney, into her Honda Accord and prepared to take them for a bite to eat.

The car was backed into her driveway on Marston Street in Lawrence as she chatted on her cellphone before getting into the car herself.

Then the car started to roll down the sloping driveway as traffic whizzed by on Marston Street.

With no thought but the safety of her daughters, Tran tried to stop the one-ton car.

“I just kept holding it, trying to get a grip on it,” she told reporter Jill Harmacinski for a story in the Sunday Eagle-Tribune.

Her 5-foot-1, 130-pound frame was no match, and she was run over and pinned under the rear axle — stopping the car before it could roll into traffic.

Amazingly, Tran remained conscious. “I went under the car, that’s when I could hear my daughters crying,” she said. “They didn’t start crying until they couldn’t see me anymore.”

Tran paid a heavy price for her act of self-sacrifice to save her daughters.

She suffered a fractured pelvis, severe injuries to her legs and a separated left shoulder. She is unable to walk but is grateful she is beginning to regain feeling below her waist. Months of rehabilitation lie ahead.

Neighbors came to her aid until firefighters arrived with special air bags to lift the crushing weight so her body could be freed.

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