New footage from a police body camera shows the efforts behind last weekend’s rescue of 18-month-old Lily Groesbeck, who was found alive in her mother’s car nearly 14 hours after it crashed into a Utah river.
The video shows first responders rushing into the frigid waters of the Spanish Fork River to pull the toddler out of her car seat, which was stuck in her mother’s upside-down and partly submerged Dodge sedan.
The raw footage, released a week after the rescue occurred, reveals the responders’ teamwork at the scene, which helped lead to the toddler’s survival. The video shows the responders trying to shift the wrecked vehicle, pulling Lily out, and getting her to emergency care.
“You got her? Pass her up, pass her up!” one responder says in the video.
“She’s definitely hypothermic,” says the man who takes Lily up the river bank towards a waiting ambulance.
Investigators estimate the crash to have occurred around 10:30 p.m. Friday in Spanish Fork, about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. A local fisherman didn’t find the wreck until about 12:30 p.m. the following day.
The car swerved into the river after it struck a cement barrier on the bridge, investigators told The Associated Press. Police are still investigating why the car left the road in the first place.
Three police officers and four firefighters who waded into the river to push the car onto its side were treated for hypothermia at a local hospital and released.
Lily’s mother, Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, died in the crash, but several of the rescuers claimed to have heard an adult female voice calling for help before they found the trapped toddler.
“It wasn’t just something that was just in our heads,” Officer Tyler Beddoes told Utah’s KSL. “To me, it was plain as day.”
"We've gotten together and just talkin' about it, and all four of us can swear that we heard somebody inside the car saying, 'Help,'" officer Jared Warner recalled this past Sunday. "We're not exactly sure where that voice came from," he added.
The child was brought to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment, where she was listed in critical condition. She was released Wednesday into her father’s care and is reported to be making a full recovery.
"It's unbelievable. That just doesn't happen," Deven Trafny, Lily’s dad, told KUTV. “I’m overwhelmed with joy right now.”
A GoFundMe account set up after the accident has already raised nearly $75,000 in more than 2,000 donations to cover Lily’s medical costs.