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Watch dramatic rescue of mother, 2 kids trapped in dangling car (Video)

posted at 3:02 pm on March 18, 2012 by

A mother and one of her two daughters will likely be haunted for some time by nightmares of their brush with death. (The younger child, who is 10 months old, is almost certain to have no memory of the incident.) But at least all three are still alive to dream thanks to the rapid and heroic response of members of the Santa Barbara, California, Fire Department, and Navy Seabees, the Daily News reports.

The terrifying accident occurred after [Kelli Lynne] Groves’ BMW was rear-ended by a truck on California’s Highway 101, leaving the passenger vehicle hanging off the side of a guard rail over a ravine.

[…]

The truck driver, Charles Allison Jr., was killed instantly when his truck plunged into the ravine after the crash.

Following the crash, the car dangled precariously over the side of the bridge—half on and half off—100 feet above rocky terrain below. To complicate matters, the ravine floor was covered with hazardous materials that had apparently spewed from the truck when it burst into flames.

One of the firefighters who responded to the call, Greg Nucklos, told ABC’s Good Morning America:

She [Groves] was saying, ‘Get me and my children out of here.’ She was very scared, and I remember her saying she wanted us to get a net below her and I had to articulate that we just don’t have that type of equipment and I needed her to remain calm and patient.

News crews at the scene captured video of the perilous rescue effort, which at one point encountered a snag: The firefighters lacked the equipment needed to stabilize the car, but a team of Navy Seabees who happened to be nearby rescued the rescuers. They provided a fork lift, which gave emergency workers time to extract the three passengers.

The mother and her daughters, the older of whom was 10, were airlifted to a nearby hospital, where they were all reported to be in good condition.

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