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Washington County deputy rescues toddler in locked car

Washington County Sheriff's Office Deputy Zack Vance poses with 2-year-old Zayne Campbell and his mother, Porche Gwyn, in this photo tweeted by the sheriff's office.

A Washington County deputy in the right place at the right time rescued a toddler inside a locked car.

Like most toddlers, Zayne Campbell likes to play pretend. Sometimes he's a tiger, other times he’s a race car driver.

“He loves car rides. Sometimes, that's how I get him to take a nap,” said Porche Gwyn, his mother.

On Friday afternoon in front of Tabbs Sports Bar and Grill, Gwyn stepped outside her car for a second and when she turned around, the door shut and Zayne hopped into the front seat.

“I thought it was funny at first until he had my keys, because I thought the keys are in my pocket,” said Gwyn.

Also in the car with Zayne was her phone, and he had just locked all four doors.

“If you freak out, they freak out and they can sort of sense, so I kept my cool and everything,” said Gwyn.

Fortunately for her, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Zack Vance was in the same area doing a premise check.

He saw what was happening and came to the rescue.

“We're talking to him, showing him stickers, getting him calm, trying to get him to open the door, but he wasn't playing the game. He was just having fun driving,” Vance said.

It's not the easiest task to communicate with a 2-year-old, but Vance was able to put a wire clothes hanger through the door, and Zayne knew exactly what to do. He put the keys on the loop. Vance and Gwyn pried the door open enough to grab the keys and got Zayne out of the car.

The whole ordeal lasted about 20 minutes, which doesn’t seem like a big deal to Vance.

“I know a couple of deputies who've locked their keys in their cars once,” he said.

But to Gwyn, he’s her hero.

“If he wasn't there, I don't know what I would've done!”

Vance says this is the first time in his 9-year career, he has had to rescue a kid locked inside a car.

Gwyn says she’s going to carry her keys on a lanyard around her wrist or neck in the future.

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