Tennessee State Trooper Comforts toddler on accident scene

THP and ToddlerA glimpse into the day of a local Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper has gone viral. We first shared the image Thursday night of an officer comforting a 3-year-old girl after a chase and car crash. “I felt so bad for that little girl because she was only 3 years old and she was as sweet as could be,” Trooper Mariah Harden said. Harden held that little girl for almost an hour, comforting her after a traumatizing accident. “I thought that if that was my kid I would want someone to hold on to her, let her know she’s OK,” Harden said. “I just thought that would help her, and it was helping me because I just wanted to be here for her.” The story started Thursday afternoon when the THP ended a high-speed pursuit with the child’s mother, who later crashed. “I took off that way because I knew there was a child involved,” Harden said. “I knew I wanted to get there quicker.” Trooper Harden was on scene within minutes, taking the child from the car and into her arms. “I’ve got a kid coming in not too long, so I felt like that could have been anyone’s child,” Harden said. “There’s no way I would risk my child’s life that way.” While first responders investigated and cleared the scene, Harden stayed right with the little girl, even taking the time to help fix her car seat. “Thankfully a Crockett County deputy helped me out because I’m not very good with all the straps,” Harden said. “So he helped me there and we got it set for her before she left.” For Trooper Harden, although what she did for that child is now getting a lot of attention, she said it’s all part of wearing the badge. “That could have been bad. But for a bad day it was a good one,” Harden said. “At least no one was killed, and thankfully that child was able to go home.” Since posting the photo and video online, it’s already been shared thousands of times. Harden said it’s bittersweet because Friday was actually her last day on patrol because she’s expecting a child of her own this August. Trooper harden has worked for the Tennessee Highway Patrol for only a few months. She was a graduate of the latest round of troopers.