ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - A relative of the Central Florida family involved in a freak accident in Rochester, New York says they are still asking for prayers.
On Wednesday, Jon Clanton of Zephyrhills took a walk with two of his kids in a stroller. Police say Jon looked away for a moment, and the stroller rolled into a canal with the kids still strapped in.
Jon immediately jumped in and tried to keep the stroller above water until help arrived. Sam and Selah, both eight years old, required CPR when they were pulled out.
Selah remains in critical condition.
"It's just absolute horror," said Valerie Clanton, Jon's sister-in-law who lives in Lakeland. "These are the most careful people you could imagine."
Valerie says she and her husband, Jim, heard bits and pieces of the news shortly after it happened Wednesday, and couldn't believe it. Jim flew out to Rochester on Friday morning to be with his family.
"To have something so absolute freak happen, you're just… dumbfounded," she said. "You're just in shock, absolute shock."
Jon and Yvonne Clanton have a total of five kids. Two of the kids needed a medical procedure done on their eyes in Rochester, NY, but all five children tagged along.
The family has been going to a specialist for years because several of their kids have vision problems.
"This is the sweetest family, they'll do anything for you. They'll give you the clothes of their back," said Leslie Rookey, a family friend.
Jon Clanton is the pastor of Grace Church in Zephyrhills.
Friends have set up a fund at MidFlorida Credit Union to help the family pay for medical expenses. You can donate to the Yvonne Clanton Children's Medical Fund at any MidFlorida bank. The member number is 542607-1.
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