A mysterious voice led police to rescue an 18-month-old baby girl from a car wreck in Utah, according to news reports. The crash, which killed the baby’s mother, Jennifer Groesbeck, happened on Friday night at about 10:30, when Groesbeck, 25, was driving home to Springville, Utah, from her parents’ home in Salem, as Pat Reavy writes for Deseret News. Police pinpointed the time of the crash because a resident near the accident scene said he heard something at that time but did not see anything unusual, according to a report on the website of Spanish Fork Police.
The accident happened when Groesbeck hit a cement barrier while crossing a bridge, and drove off the roadway, crashing into the river, writes Joel Landau for the New York Daily News. Based on tire tracks and scuff marks, investigators believe at least two tires went over the curb and traveled 30 to 50 feet before hitting the cement barrier, which “likely” launched the car into the river, Reavy writes. Police are investigating what could have caused the crash, Reavy writes.
The car was not visible from the roadway and was not discovered until 12:24 p.m. Saturday, when a fisherman saw it and called police, Landau writes. The discovery of the car was first reported as a possible abandoned vehicle in the river, Reavy writes. Four Spanish Fork police officers arrived at the scene. After being told there was a vehicle in the water, they moved towards the water when a witness said he saw an arm sticking out of the window, Landau writes. The car, which police say was a four-door Dodge passenger vehicle, was flipped upside down, Landau writes. The four policemen then “plunged into the fast running 40-degree water and attempted to save any potential survivors,” he writes.
At that point, the police heard a female voice calling out for help, Landau writes. Reavy reports about the eerie details of the mysterious voice, beginning with a quote from Officer Bryan Dewitt, one of the first to arrive:
‘We were down on the car and a distinct voice says, “Help me, help me,” Dewitt recalled.
‘It wasn’t just something that was just in our heads. To me it was plain as day cause I remember hearing a voice,’ officer Tyler Beddoes said. ‘I think it was Dewitt who said, “We’re trying. We’re trying our best to get in there.”
‘How do you explain that? I don’t know,’ he said, adding that the voice didn’t sound like a child.
Beddoes said hearing that voice gave the officers a “positive boost,” pushing them to work harder for longer. He said he did not think any of the officers had planned on flipping a car over. Because of the voice, “We know there was some other help there, getting us where we needed to be,” he said, as Reavy writes. Beddoes can’t explain the voice that appeared to come from inside the car, Landau writes. He said he would not believe the voice had happened, except that the other officers heard it too, Landau writes.
It was after the officers and two firefighters flipped the heavy, water-filled car over that they saw that the driver was deceased, Landau writes. And it was then that they discovered baby Lily unconscious in her back car seat. Before they flipped the car, she was hanging upside down, but her head was not touching the water, Landau writes.
After removing her from the car seat, the officers and firefighters formed an assembly line to bring the baby back to shore, Landau writes. Fireman Paul Taultomadakis said once they got Lily into the ambulance, they performed CPR “and anything we could do just to save her” as they brought her to the hospital, Reavy writes. Lily was listed in critical condition at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Landau writes. “There is optimism the infant may recover,” he writes.
Groesbeck’s sister, Jill Sanderson, said that Lily is “doing remarkably well considering the circumstance,” Reavy reports. Sanderson said Lily was the love of her sister’s life, and that Groesbeck was an amazing mother and a very compassionate and loving person. A gofundme account has been set up to pay for funeral expenses for Groesbeck, and for medical care for Lily. The campaign raised $26,829 on its first day. The campaign asks for prayers as well as donations.