An-month-old Hope, Arkansas girl who was involved in a car crash on Friday is being hailed as a miracle after rescuers found her 3 feet underground in a storm drain virtually unharmed.
The girl and her four family members were traveling eastbound on I-30 at around 7 p.m., when an 18-wheeler made a sudden lane change, clipping the family’s vehicle and sending it hurdling down the center of the interstate median. The baby, whose car seat was not properly installed, was violently thrown from the vehicle down an embankment, ultimately landing in a storm drain 25 to 35 feet away.
Josh Moore, a Texarkana firefighter on the scene, told KSLA that when they arrived at the accident, frantic family members said the baby had been thrown from the car but they couldn’t find her.
“We immediately began searching in the hay,” recalled Moore. “A Good Samaritan was already out here searching in the hay and he claimed he heard something in this general direction.”
As the firefighters removed the layer of hay from a drainage grate, they were stunned at what they found.
“The baby at the time – the 8-month-old – was actually sitting down in the grate, sitting up and looking up at us waiting for us to pull her out. She wasn’t screaming, she wasn’t crying, was just sitting there waiting for us.”
TAFD Capt. Charlie Smith told KSLA, “We reached down there and she more or less had her hands up for somebody to pick her up. It took 3 of us to work her around the grate and get her back up through.”
EMTs attended to the baby, but, incredibly, her only injury seemed to be a tiny scratch on her forehead.
“There had to be some kind of divine intervention for her to end up being okay the way she was,” Moore said.
“To be ejected from that all the way down this hill,” added Capt. Smith.
“Yeah, a good 25 feet away from this grate right here and end up being okay is just simply amazing,” continued Moore. “Up until we heard her, I was just worried about it being more of a recovery rather than a rescue, but once we heard her, it was just a sigh of relief. There had to be some kind of divine intervention for her to end up being okay the way she was.”
An emotional Capt. Smith added, “So many times we go out and things aren’t okay. And just during the holidays here to have a positive just feels good.”
Three of the other family members in the crash have been treated and released from the hospital. The driver is still being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was cited for an improper and unsafe lane change.
Local news footage below: