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Baby survives for 14 hours in car seat after car crashes into river

When 25-year-old Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck of Utah was on the way home from her parents’ house on Friday evening, her car veered off the road and crashed into the Spanish Fork River. Her 18-month-old daughter Lily was in the car with her. It wasn’t until the next day that the mother and daughter were found — the baby alive, and the mother dead.

The question on everyone’s mind is: How did this miracle happen? How was it possible for a toddler to survive overnight in the backseat of a car submerged in a freezing river?

Lily survived this tragic crash strapped into her car seat in the backseat for 14 hours. It wasn’t until a fisherman found the vehicle overturned in the river the next day at 12:20 p.m. that Lily was discovered — in stable but critical condition.

The fact that Lily was found at all was remarkable. Groesbeck’s red Dodge Caliber hit a cement barrier on the bridge at about 10:30 p.m. Friday night. This crash caused the car to overturn into the river, landing under the bridge where it was not visible from the road.

If the fisherman hadn’t found the car, Lily would not be alive today. The young toddler was preserved perfectly in her car seat above freezing waters in the partially submerged vehicle. Lily is now in critical condition at Utah’s Primary Children’s Hospital. Lily’s aunt, Jill Sanderson, says that the doctors are optimistic, given the circumstances.

Sanderson told KSL, “She is doing remarkably well considering the circumstance. The doctors have been hopeful so far. We would like to express our appreciation to the Spanish Fork rescue team for saving the baby’s life.”

This amazing story, of course, still has a tragic end. A toddler was able to survive a dangerous crash in an astonishing way, but she still lost her mother. Sanderson calls Lily the love of her mother’s life. She says of Groesbeck, “She was an amazing mother.”

Lily’s family has created a GoFundMe page to gather donations for funeral expenses, as well as funding for Lily’s ongoing medical care. In just 20 hours, over $12,000 was raised to far exceed the original $8,000 goal. This baby girl may have lost her mother, but thankfully, she has a loving community behind her to support her recovery.

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