The 18-month-old is in critical condition at a children's hospital

By Steve Helling
Updated March 08, 2015 05:10 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Spanish Fork Police Department

It was a terrifying sight.

A fisherman who waded into a Utah river on Saturday afternoon discovered an upside-down vehicle submerged in the water. Alarmed, he called 911.

Police and firefighters arrived at the scene and made a gruesome discovery: the body of 25-year-old Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck was still strapped in the driver’s seat.

But the tragic scene turned miraculous when they found an 18-month-old girl in her carseat. She was injured, but alive. She was airlifted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where she remains in critical condition.

How she lived is a mystery to police, who are investigating the accident. “The baby was in a car seat in the backseat on the passenger side,” Lt. Cory Slaymaker of the Spanish Fork Police Department told ABC News. “The vehicle was on its top, so the car seat could have been out of the water. I don’t know how much water was getting into the car.”

It’s also unclear how long the car had been in the water, but authorities believe it was more than 13 hours. “A resident near the accident scene advised that he heard something last night at approximately [11:30 p.m.],” the Spanish Fork Police said on their Facebook page

Police say that Groesbeck’s vehicle struck a cement barrier and plunged into the river.

According to the Spanish Fork Police, the frigid temperatures made the rescue more difficult. “Three police officers and four firefighters were transported to Mountain View Hospital to be treated for hypothermia,” says the Facebook post. “The officers and firefighters have since been released.”

Investigators hope to find answers soon. “There’s not anything at the scene, as far as evidence goes, as to why the vehicle left the roadway,” Spanish Fork Police Lt. Matt Johnson told CNN. This is just a tragedy all the way around.”