Newly released footage from a police officer’s body camera shows the desperate moments that first responders worked frantically to rescue the Utah “miracle” baby from inside the car that crashed Saturday into the near-freezing water of the Spanish Fork River in Utah, killing her mother Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck.
Police released footage of the heroic rescue by a team of officers and firefighters after the story of the miraculous survival of the 19-month-old Utah baby girl attracted national attention last week.
The body-cam belonged to a Spanish Fork police officer who arrived at the scene of the accident at about 12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 7. He got out of his patrol car and went down the steep rocky embankment to the crashed vehicle where other officers were trying to rescue the child.
Investigators believe Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, crashed her car into the Spanish Fork River outside Salt Lake City around 10:30 p.m., Friday, March 6, while driving home to Springville from nearby Salem where she had gone to see her parents.
But investigators were uncertain why or how she crashed into the river because there were no skid marks or evident signs of mechanical failure. But it is thought that she may have hit a concrete barrier before veering and plunging into the river.
She died behind the wheel but her daughter Lily survived miraculously.
Spanish Fork Police Officer Tyler Beddoes told the NY Daily News, “We could see a person in the front seat and then we heard a voice saying, ‘Help me, we’re in here.’ It was clear as day. We replied back, ‘hang in there, we’re trying what we can.'”
It remains a mystery whose voice the rescuers heard pleading for help, but Beddoes and several other officers were adamant that they heard a “distinct voice.”
“I don’t know what I thought I heard. I’m not a typically religious guy. It’s hard to explain — it was definitely something. Where and why it came from, I’m not sure.
“Someone said ‘help me’ inside that car. 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.”
The body-cam footage shows rescuers, some of whom were later treated for hypothermia, struggling to tip the car so they can reach the child trapped inside. After they managed to put the car on its side, rescuers broke into it and pulled Lily unconscious from the back seat.
As she is pulled out of the vehicle, someone says, “You got her? Pass her up! Pass her up.”
The child is passed up to an officer who rushes toward the river bank where an ambulance is waiting.
The rescuer can be heard shouting, “She is definitely hypothermic.”
The child was still but rescuers saw signs of life in fluttering eyelids.
“We could see her eyes fluttering so there was some life, but as far as movements or consciousness there was nothing that we could see.”
Paramedics begin working frantically to save the child’s life as soon as she was brought to the ambulance. They suctioned her nose and performed CPR. One of the rescuers can be heard saying, “Come on baby!”
The ambulance arrived at the hospital a few minutes later. After receiving preliminary treatment at the hospital, she was transported by helicopter to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Doctors soon announced that she was recovering at the hospital. The NY Daily News reports that she has since been released from the hospital after being reunited with her dad, Deven Trafny, who expressed his relief at his daughter’s remarkable recovery in an interview with KUTV on Wednesday.
“I came in, I put my finger in her hand, and I told her ‘Dad is here’ and I loved her. She squeezed my hand and then a few hours later she tried to open her eyes.”
[Image: Spanish Fork Police]