It looked as bad as a road accident can look, the first calls to fire department dispatch made that clear. "Engine 31 will be at a vehicle that's teetering off the bridge with three patients in it at this time."
A terrifying scenario, 36-year-old first grade teacher Kelly Lynn Groves was pinned in the mangled wreck of her car along with her two young daughters, the truck that had struck her had plummeted to the ravine a hundred feet below, it's driver killed.
A fire captain said to his chief, 'We need a heavy duty forklift to secure that vehicle, but ours is 45 minutes away."
"Unbelievably, that's exactly what passed by at exactly that moment. Only it didn't belong to the fire department, it belonged to the Navy Seabees."
"Amazing." The Seabees nodded at their lucky timing and got to work.. so the extraction teams could do their job:
"We said, 'we do have this forklift that's capable of picking up 11,000 pounds, we sure could hold up that car and save those lives that were trapped in that vehicle."
First to be removed, 10-year-old Sage, the most seriously injured; then 10-week-old Milo, with just minor injuries -- she would be treated and released from the hospital; and finally mom Kelly, like Sage with multiple fractures, but alive!
The Seabees said it was a job they were ready for.
"Put us in any type of situation, and we are trained to adapt and overcome."
It took two hours and twenty one minutes from the start of the rescue to the last victim pulled out alive. Intense and unforgettable minutes for all involved... filled with the skill, experience, courage and good luck, needed to make a miracle, possible.