The West

Crash parents nearly lost fourth child
Brian O'Shea hugs his son after a 'terrifying' seven-hour search. Picture: AP/René Schütze/POLFOTO

The Pemberton parents who lost three children in a tragic car accident in Europe almost a year ago have spent a frantic seven hours searching a Danish forest after their surviving son became separated from them at the weekend.

Brian and Maria O'Shea went for a walk in woods in North Jutland, in northern Denmark, to pick strawberries with their 18-month-old son Torben and family friends on Saturday night.

Torben miraculously survived the crash that claimed the life of his sister Saoirse, 9, and brothers Soren, 11, and Connor, 3.

They were killed when a speeding and texting driver ploughed into the car Mrs O'Shea was driving near her parents' home in Sindal, north Denmark.

Mr O'Shea said on his Facebook page that when he moved to a ridge further up and off the track in North Jutland, Torben appeared to try to find him and left his mother and her friends behind.

Soren, Connor and Saoirse O'Shea, killed in a car crash nearly a year ago.

"He continued down the track and left it entering (the) woods," Mr O'Shea wrote. "Maria came looking for him and we couldn't find him. Thirty minutes in we decided to call in the police as there was no sign of him and we couldn't hear him anywhere."

As night fell, police arrived with dog handlers and a helicopter with heat-sensing equipment was brought in.

"The rain got heavier and the temperature dropped and we thought that … I won't say but the faces of the emergency guys made it obvious that this was not good," Mr O'Shea wrote.

"Soren, Saoirse and Connor were never far from my mind and in a strange way it was comforting, rather than the normal feeling I have when I realise they are not here," he said.

The aftermath of the horrific crash in Denmark.

Mr O'Shea said that at 4am when first light broke, he went out and searched paths he thought his son might have taken. After several routes and searches the devastated father saw something that resembled a tree stump, "but was blue".

"I ran over and it was Torben.

"He was face-down, wide-eyed and not moving. My heart stopped as I reached for him, he was rigid. I picked him up and felt the heat from his chest, he cried out and I knew he was all right. My heart started beating again.

"The world returned to a better place and I brought him home to Mor. He is now the same little chirpy toddler and hale and hearty," he wrote.

The West Australian

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