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Dispatcher on leave after fatal crash

A Little Rock 911 operator is on paid administrative leave after the Little Rock Fire and Police Departments did not get dispatched right away to help a mother and son trapped in their sinking SUV.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Little Rock 911 operator is on paid administrative leave after the Little Rock Fire and Police Departments did not get dispatched right away to help a mother and son trapped in their sinking SUV.

The woman, Jinglei Yi, 39, did not survive. Right now, her son, Le Yang, 5, is at Arkansas Children's Hospital in critical condition.

This all unfolded Monday morning when Yi likely slid on ice and her SUV went into a Little Rock pond.

At 7:57 Monday morning, Yi called 911 from her cell phone. She was trapped inside her SUV with her son in a pond on Cooper Orbit Road.

A Pulaski County dispatcher got a Little Rock dispatcher on the phone with Yi to find out where she was. The Little Rock dispatcher alerted the ambulance service, MEMS, about the crash at 8:01.

MEMS arrived at the scene at 8:17.

When the ambulance got there, the MEMS employee realized something was wrong because there were no police cars there yet and there were no fire trucks there. That's when they radioed back to dispatch to find out what was happening.

"Right now, we don't know where the breakdown occurred. If is was an operator error or if it was a mechanical error," says Little Rock Police Sgt. Cassandra Davis.

Davis says the dispatcher decides who to send to an emergency.

"We don't have a record of police calls not being dispatched. This was an unfortunate event," she says.

Thanks to MEMS, at 8:23 the fire department's water rescue unit was dispatched.

At 8:27, police got the call. That was a full 30 minutes after Yi called 911.

MEMS tells FOX16 that Yi's call was not patched through to them, which would normally happen, so the MEMS dispatcher called Yi back to try to help her get out of her SUV. Yi did not survive. She died later that morning at Baptist Hospital.

Little Rock police are investigating to try to figure out how this happened.
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