A fisherman made a gruesome discovery when he stumbled upon a partially submerged vehicle that had wrecked into the Spanish Fork river in Utah. A 25-year-old mother was found dead behind the wheel. Despite the death of the mother, a baby girl beat all odds and survived not only the crash into the river, but 13 hours in the nearly submerged Dodge Caliber in the icy waters. The vehicle had veered off the road, crashing into the river late on Friday night. The vehicle wasn’t found until Saturday morning, with the baby girl seated inside her car seat in the upside down vehicle, just above freezing water.
According to the Daily Mail, the 18-month-old baby girl was rushed to the Mountain View Hospital and then flown to Primary Children’s Hospital. She is listed in critical condition with unspecified injuries. Police are investigating the cause of the crash, but witnesses in the area of the wreck note that they heard a loud bang around 11 p.m. Many went to investigate the sound, although no one saw the source of the noise until the next morning when the car was found. Sadly, the vehicle was located in an area that could not be seen from the roadway, let alone in the dark.
Police have not released the name of the mother or baby to the public but have said it appears the woman was visiting her parents in Salem, Utah, just prior to the accident. She was driving home when the accident occurred. Fox 13 reports that the family of the young mother did not know she didn’t make it home until they were contacted about the accident. Lt. Cory Slaymaker, who works for the Spanish Fork Police Department, says that the woman left her parents’ home around 10 p.m. and was headed towards Springville when the accident took place.
“I have been able to confirm that she had visited some family in Salem [Friday] night around 10 o’clock. She left Salem between 10:00 and 10:30 last night, was heading home to Springville, the family didn’t know that she did not arrive.”
The rescue itself did not come without cost and is a testament to exactly how resilient the baby girl really was throughout the ordeal. Three police officers and four firefighters were transported to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia following the rescue attempts. Those responders have since been treated and released, but prove just how dire the situation was for the baby trapped inside the freezing vehicle throughout the dark night hours.
It seems that the car seat’s placement after the wreck, just above the freezing water line, helped save the child from a hypothermia death. However, the hospital notes that child is still in critical condition and has numerous injuries.