She’s known as Baby Lily, but Utah authorities call her by another name: a miracle.
A fisherman found the 18-month-old infant, barely alive, about 14 hours after the car her mother was driving struck a concrete barrier and plunged into the frigid waters of a river near the town of Spanish Fork.
Her mother, 25-year-old Lynn Groesbeck of nearby Springville, was found dead in the car.
But police said Monday that the child is expected to survive after she hung upside-down, strapped into her car seat behind the passenger seat, as the icy waters whipped past just inches from her head.
“The child was inches from the water, strapped in her seat belt in the proper fashion,” Spanish Fork police Lt. Matt Johnson told the Los Angeles Times. “For that child to survive 14 hours in those conditions is just a miracle.”
Police say the accident occurred late Friday after Groesbeck left her parents' residence and headed home. She was wearing her seat belt when the crash occurred.
A fisherman encountered the half-submerged car midday Saturday, police said. There were no skid marks or signs of mechanical failures in the car, and no witnesses, Johnson said.
Responders turned the car on its side and found the infant with her eyes open.
“She is improving,” Johnson said. “Things are looking pretty bright.”
Follow jglionna on Twitter for national news.