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Former deputy hopes to meet baby he rescued 32 years ago

Daniel Walker

Vernon Record

June 2, 1988 is a date etched in the mind of Alvin Lingnau, of Lockett. He thinks of it often.

On that day Lingnau was a deputy sheriff in Foard County. He had just completed his training as an EMT and was heading to Abilene to take his final certification test as a deputy.

“Gamble McCarty taught us. We had to take the EMT class and it was hard. He taught us four hours a night. I had just gotten my EMT card,” Lingnau said.

He was driving to Abilene, and was behind a car, on the northside of town. That car collided into a trailer of a semi, went under it, and continued on. Lingnau drove around the truck and followed to where the now roofless car came to a stop. The woman driving had been decapitated.

“It scared the heck out of me. There was glass everywhere, there was blood everywhere,” he said. Lingnau saw a 6-month old baby in the seat. She wasn’t breathing.

“She was just slumped over in the seat. I picked that booger up. I lady pulled up and had a pillow. I laid that baby on the pillow. She wasn’t breathing. I started giving her CPR, like I’d just learned. As the ambulance pulled up, the baby started to cry,” Lingnau said.

Foard County Judge Charlie Bell, in a 1988 newspaper article, said that Abilene paramedics told the child’s family that she would have died before they arrived if Lingnau hadn’t been there. The baby’s grandmother called Lingnau the next day to thank him, and say it was their only grandchild.

The child’s name was Laura Whiteside, Lingnau said she attempted to see him one time, after he had left the Foard County SO in 1995. “She came to see me one time at the Sheriff’s office, but Sheriff Bobby Bond told her I’d moved away. Well, I hadn’t. He just didn’t want me to know,” Lingnau said.

Lingnau is hopeful that he will get to meet the baby some time, who now will be a 32-year-old woman.

Anyone with information on the family can contact and we will get them in contact with Lingnau.

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