Dramatic moment rescuers freed 18-month-old girl who was left trapped upside down for 14 hours next to her dead mother after their car crashed into a frigid Utah river
- Newly-released footage was filmed on an officer’s body camera at scene
- Shows first responders running toward Lynn Groesbeck’s Dodge sedan
- Officers seen straining to turn partially submerged car in cold Utah river
- Seconds later, they lift it out of water and find tiny Lily Groesbeck inside
- Video captures officers passing infant to each other, then to ambulance
- Lily, who was trapped in sedan for 14 hours, now released from hospital
- Tragically, her mother, 25, was declared dead at scene in Spanish Fork
- Emergency responders have since said they heard her calling for help
This is the dramatic moment rescuers freed an 18-month-old baby girl who was left dangling upside down next to her dead mother for a staggering 14 hours after their car plunged into a frigid river. The newly-released footage, filmed on an officer’s body camera, shows emergency crews battling to rescue Lily Groesbeck from her mother Lynn’s Dodge sedan at a river in Spanish Fork, Utah. First responders are captured running toward the overturned vehicle, before straining to turn it on its side. One can be heard yelling, ‘Let’s go guys, come on!’ as they struggle to lift the heavy sedan. Seconds later, the officers successfully lift the partially-submerged car out of the water and discover Lily hanging upside down in her car seat. The infant was unconscious, but miraculously alive.
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The men are then filmed quickly freeing Lily from the car seat, before passing her cold body from one person to another. Once on the shore, the baby was lifted into an ambulance and given CPR. The video, which was released by Spanish Fork Police Department and obtained by NBC, shows several concerned bystanders watching the scene from the top of the river bank last Saturday. Following the rescue, Lily, whose face was apparently just inches away from the icy water, was rushed in a critical condition to Mountain View Hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia.
She was later flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, from which she was released on Wednesday. Three police officers and four firefighters were also treated for hypothermia.
Tragically, Ms Groesbeck, who is not depicted in the video, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 25-year-old mother and her daughter were driving home to Springville, a suburb of Provo, at around 10.30pm on the fateful day when their red-colored sedan crashed into the frigid river below.
On Wednesday, police said the car had apparently struck a cement barrier on the bridge above the river before plunging into the water. However, they said the cause of the crash remains unclear. Ms Groesbeck’s partially-submerged car was discovered by a fisherman, who subsequently alerted the authorities shortly after noon on Saturday. The sedan was resting face-down in the water. According to the Deseret News, the angler called a non-emergency line and said: ‘Are you guys aware there’s a car in the river on the south end of Spanish Fork, Main Street, over the bridge? ‘I didn’t see anybody when I came in here and I can’t see in the car.’
Only four minutes later, the same caller dialed 911 directly and said: ‘There’s a car in the river. It’s upside down off of Main Street and there is a person inside. I can see a hand.’
Earlier this week, emergency responders said they had heard desperate pleas from Ms Groesbeck inside the car when they approached the car, even though she had likely been killed on impact. They reported hearing cries of: ‘Help me! Help me!’. However, the mother was certainly not alive at the time of their arrival.
Rescuers are now trying to figure out how they heard Ms Groesbeck’s voice. Officer Tyler Beddoes, who was involved in the rescue, said: ‘For two nights I’ve laid awake trying to figure out exactly what it could be. All I know is it was there, we all heard it. It was extra motivation.’ It is still unclear how Lily managed to survive with no food or water, but a doctor told CNN that when someone suffers from hypothermia, their metabolism slows and their oxygen intake reduces.
This results in a ‘neuro-protective’ condition, the doctor said. Also this week, Lily’s father, Deven Trafny, revealed his daughter’s incredible progress in a video taken from hospital, which shows the infant bouncing around and waving shyly at the camera. ‘I’m blessed,’ Mr Trafny, told KUTV on Wednesday. ‘I’m counting all my blessings right now… She should be gone. She shouldn’t be here right now. I’m overwhelmed with joy right now.’ Mr Trafny said Lily has been watching cartoons and laughing with family members despite it being only a week since the deadly crash. She also remembers everything she knew before the crash. ‘Lily came into the hospital on Saturday in critical condition, and today she’s in great condition – she’s happy, playing, talking, and even reciting her nursery rhymes,’ the devoted father said.
‘Except for a few bruises, she has made a remarkable recovery.’ But while caring for little Lily, Mr Trafny is trying to comprehend losing his beloved fiancée Lynn. ‘That’s kind of a hard situation for me right now,’ he said. ‘I haven’t really wrapped my head around that. She was the love of my life and I’m going to miss her a lot. I still have to deal with that.’
According to police lieutenant Matt Johnson, toxicology results are pending in the case. Lt Johnson said an investigator had found a small bag of marijuana in Ms Groesbeck’s purse at the scene, along with an unused, packaged syringe and a bottle of Tramadol, a pain killer. However, he could not say if any of those items were a factor in the accident. The items were taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Salt Lake City, he said.
Source: Daily Mail