NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A five-year-old girl is recovering after getting trapped in a major pile-up Wednesday morning on Highway 4 after strong winds toppled trees onto vehicles near Bandelier.

“That’s the scariest situation I have ever been in my entire life,” said Stephen Llewelyn, who lives in Jemez Springs. He was on his way to work, with his five-year-old daughter on Highway 4 near the Los Alamos and Sandoval County line when powerful winds toppled trees over. The trees crushed cars and turned traffic into near tragedy.

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“The tree hit directly across the cab of the truck then bounced forward. But it was so big and so heavy, that it just pancaked my truck,” Llewelyn said. His priority was to save his five-year-old daughter who was trapped in the truck.

“I have to get her out. Like, I pleaded and begged with everybody standing there, you know, she’s five. We have to get her out of this truck. We have to get her out,” Stephen said.

Shaeon Johnson is an EMT with the La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department. He said he was one of the first first responders on the scene.

“It looked like a forest on the road,” said Johnson. “It was unlike anything I or a lot of other people in the department had seen.” He said at least eight large trees came down and crushed about five cars.

“One of the vehicles that was hit, a tree branch went through the windshield and it stopped this close from impaling the guy,” said Johnson. He said he went to check on the dad and daughter who were reportedly trapped.

“Initially when I checked on him, he was like ‘I’m ok. I’m hurting but just take care of my daughter,'” recalled Johnson. “He did an amazing job making sure his daughter was taken care of first.”

First responders worked together and eventually were able to get Llewelyn’s daughter out. They said it couldn’t have happened without other drivers who were there lending a hand before first responders arrived.

“There was guys with trucks and straps pulling the tree off my truck. There was guys who came out of the woodworks. It was like they walked out of the forest like angels and had chainsaws and they were cutting the trees off,” said Llewelyn.

“Had the locals not been there, it would’ve been a very different story. They were a huge help,” said Johnson. “Considering the incident, it is a miracle from God that she survived.”

Llewelyn and his daughter were taken to UNMH for their injuries. Llewelyn has a broken back and broken rib. He said his daughter will be in the hospital for a few more days with multiple fractures.

“She told me to say that she’s good. When she was caught in the truck all she kept asking me was ‘dad can I go to school today,'” said Llewelyn. “A combination of everybody saved my kid’s life. And for that, there’s not enough thanks and enough gratitude to go around.”

Jemez Pueblo EMS, Sandoval County Fire and Rescue, and Los Alamos Fire Department also assisted in the rescue. There were no other serious injuries reported. There is a GoFundMe to help Llewelyn and his family recover. The GoFundMe was started by one of Llewelyn’s coworkers, who he also thanked for offering support.