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Baby survives 14 hours in cold river after crash that killed her mother

Lily is said to be doing remarkably well.
Mar 9th 2015, 11:30 AM 27,396 11


AN 18-MONTH GIRL is doing “remarkably well” after surviving a car crash which saw her spend 14 hours strapped upside-down in a cold river in Utah.

Lily Groesbeck is said to be in a stable but critical condition at a Salt Lake City hospital.

Her mother, 25-year-old Jenny Groesbeck, died in the crash.

Lily was found by a fisherman at about 12.30pm on Saturday, about 14 hours after the wreck occurred.

A number of police officers and firefighters who worked to rescue the toddler were also treated in hospital for hypothermia.

Officer Bryan Dewitt has claimed that he and three of his colleagues heard someone call ‘Help’ from the car ahead of the rescue.

“We’re not exactly sure where that voice came from,” they said.

“I was terrified there was a little baby,” Dewitt added, recalling how they flipped the car over. “My initial instinct was that she was dead. When we were able to cut her out, pass her out, the first thing I saw was her eyes fluttering. So it was kind of a positive sign of life for me, at least. But knew she wasn’t out of harm’s way, either.”

Two other firefighters remember just grabbing the girl and taking her out of the water.

“[I] didn’t really think about anything except trying to get her out. Once I got ahold of her, I could tell that she still had some life,” said firefighter Paul Taultomadakis.

The girl was found hanging upside down above the river that flowed through the car, and the water never reached high enough to touch her, Johnson told the Deseret News newspaper. Her mother was found dead in the driver’s seat.

The car struck a cement barrier on the bridge and careened into the river, investigators said. It landed under the bridge and was difficult to see from the road. Police are unsure why the car left the road, and the Utah Highway Patrol is assisting in the accident investigation.

The mother of one had just visited her parents and was returning home to the town of Springville.

“She was very compassionate and a very loving person and always willing to bend over backwards for her loved ones. Her baby was the love of her life. She was an amazing mother,” Groesbeck’s sister, Jill Sanderson told local media.

With AP

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Sinead O'Carroll


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