Mother rescues 5-year-old Okanogan girl trapped in washing machine


by & Othello Richards

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 8 at 7:39 PM

OKANOGAN, Wash.-- A woman used a wrench to break the window of a running washing machine and rescue her 5-year-old daughter at a laundromat in Okanogan.

Sheriff's deputies say the girl either climbed in or was put in the washer Saturday night and it started running even though it had been marked "out of order."

The laundromat’s owner says he learned a 5-year-old girl somehow got in one of the front loader washing machines that was marked out of order. He says there is no way she could have locked the door herself. The washing machine started with the girl in it.

The laundromat’s owner says there is no way to turn it off until the cycle finishes. No employees were around to shut off the power to the building.
The owner says a friend told him the girl’s mother ran to her car, grabbed either a wrench or tire iron, broke the glass, and pulled her daughter out through the jagged edges while the machine remained running.
Authorities say the little girl got a 10 inch cut on her back from the broken glass. 
The mother and several other adults and little children with her took the 5-year-old to the hospital.

It’s not known exactly how the girl ended up in the machine.

The incident was reported to the Colville Tribe's Protective Services.

The girl was treated at a hospital in Omak for a 10-inch cut on her back.