Mother, officials clarify details about child’s fall from window

May 22, 2013

By Michele Mihalovich

The mother of the tot who fell out of a two-story Snoqualmie home says she needs to clear a few things up.

Several news helicopters circled over her house during the May 10 incident, and the media reports, which cited quotes from Snoqualmie Police Capt. Nick Almquist, were “completely inaccurate,” said the infant’s mother, Tenille Hedahl.

It was reported that a girl, about 4 or 5 years old, crawled out of a screenless window at about 5:51 p.m. while the mother was sleeping. The child fell onto the family van and was transported to Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and was home later that evening —completely unharmed.

“The only thing that was right was that my child was fine,” she said.

Turns out, the child, 3, was a boy, not a girl, as reported in the media, including the Star, Hedahl said.

She said she was not sleeping, but was in the kitchen making dinner.

Her windows do have screens, but that screen fell out when her boy pushed on it, Hedahl said.

The boy did fall to the pavement, and not on the van; the boy was taken to Harborview Medical Center, and not Snoqualmie Valley Hospital; and the boy was kept overnight for observation, not released that evening, Hedahl said.

A request to Snoqualmie Fire Chief Bob Rowe confirmed most of what Hedahl says, but he did say in an email that it is unclear whether the boy fell on the van or the asphalt.

Almquist said he was contacted by many media outlets about the incident on his day off, and he had to get a lot of the information from a sergeant aiding EMS personnel, and the sergeant who lives next to the family on Linden Loop.

Almquist said he may have misspoke about the sex of the child and the hospital, but all the other information he received from his sergeants.

Tenille, who recently moved to Snoqualmie with her family from North Dakota, said the whole incident and subsequent media reports have been upsetting.

She said people were asking her why she was sleeping at 5 in the evening, and when she tried to explain she was cooking dinner, then people look at her trying to figure out who is telling the truth — her or the police.

Tenille did say May 20 that her boy’s follow-up tests with doctors show that he is absolutely fine.

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