The Slatest

18-Month-Old Improving After Surviving 14 Hours in a Car Crashed in a Utah River

An 18-month-old in Utah appears to be improving steadily after miraculously surviving a car crash that killed her mother and left the car turned on its side and floating in a river for some 14 hours before being discovered on Saturday. Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck was driving her daughter Lily when her car went off the road and into Utah’s Spanish Fork River.

Local authorities tell the Washington Post that Lily was able to survive for so long in freezing temperatures because of how the car landed in the river.

“It’s miraculous that the child was able to survive,” Spanish Fork Police Lt. Matt Johnson told The Post. “EMS stated that due to the way the car flipped into the river, the rear portion of the vehicle was far enough out of the water that the child was able to remain dry.” Johnson said that water also was able to flow through the vehicle instead of sweeping it away… When a fisherman discovered the vehicle at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, the car was resting upside-down in the water, police said. Authorities responding to a report of an abandoned vehicle were shocked to discover the toddler strapped into her car seat, police said… After prying open a door, rescuers unhooked Lily from her car seat and noticed her eyes were still fluttering. They began passing her up the hill to safety.

The rescuers said they heard a woman’s voice crying out for help, but when they reached the car, the mother, Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, was dead and the child was unconscious. By Monday, however, Lily Groesbeck’s condition had improved dramatically, her family told CNN. “Right now she’s watching ‘Dora (the Explorer)’ and singing ’(The) Wheels on the Bus’ with Grandpa. She is smiling and laughing for family members. We’re blown away by Lily’s progress and so grateful to her rescuers,” the family said.