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Brothers help lift van off girl pinned underneath

Alexandria brothers Casey (right) and Dustin Skinner helped to lift a van off a small child who was pinned underneath. Submitted photo

BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Minn. — Casey Skinner was at Chippewa Park on Saturday, Aug. 25, with family members enjoying the day. He hadn't seen his nephews in awhile, so his family decided to have a get-together at the park.

Suddenly, he heard his brother's girlfriend yelling and screaming.

"I thought it was because of the dogs getting into something, but then I heard someone else yelling, 'You ran over my baby,'" the 17-year-old from Alexandria said Monday morning.

A nearly 2-year-old girl had been hit and run over by a vehicle in the parking lot at the park, near the beach area between Devil's Lake and Little Chippewa Lake.

"It was so scary. It was nuts!" said Casey. "My adrenaline kicked in and I knew I had to get that kid out from under the vehicle."

Casey and his brother, Dustin Skinner, and a few others dropped what they were doing and immediately rushed over to the vehicle and lifted it up so that the child, Kenzie Moran, could be moved out from underneath.

"It was scary," Dustin agreed.

The 36-year-old from Alexandria explained that he was in the water with his kids when he heard his girlfriend, Amanda Maldonado, screaming. He, too, suspected she was yelling about their dogs until he also heard someone yelling something about a baby.

Dustin said his brother must have had a better view of what was taking place because Casey made it to the van before he did.

"It was just unbelievable," said Casey, a senior who attends the Alternative Learning Center in Parkers Prairie, where he is also a football player. He didn't know the family, who arrived at the park within minutes of the accident happening, but later found out that his sister was acquainted with the Morans.

The brothers said several other people helped lift the van off Kenzie. Once the girl was pulled out, her mother tried to keep her awake as she kept dozing off, Casey said.

"She just kept closing her eyes," he said. "We knew she probably had a concussion. It was just horrible."

Dustin said he kept picturing his 3-year-old daughter and kept thinking about what he would have done in that situation.

"I kept thinking, 'How did this happen?'" he said.

"It could have been one of my nephews," Casey said. "It was so scary. I can't imagine what the mom is going through."

Dustin said that because he has a big family and his family is used to having kids around — he is a father to three sons and one daughter — someone in their group took the little girl's five siblings to a different area of the park and kept them busy to get their minds off what was happening.

He also said Casey wasn't going to go out to the park that afternoon, but that because his kids wanted "to see their Uncle Casey," he decided to come to the beach party they were having.

"I'm so glad he came out that day," said Dustin. "I think he was supposed to be there and my family was supposed to be there — for that reason."

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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