A mother and her two daughters were rescued Thursday from their smashed car as it teetered perilously over a freeway overpass in Southern California.
Santa Barbara County firefighters removed a 10-year-old girl, a 10-week-old baby girl and their 36-year-old mother from their BMW as it was hanging over the edge, KTLA-TV reported. The car had lodged in the bridge railing on the northbound 101 freeway after colliding with a big-rig truck near Buellton.
The big-rig plunged over the bridge and burst into flame. The 48-year-old truck driver died at the scene.
The woman and her daughters were aided by a group of Navy Seabees who were coincidentally stuck in traffic near the scene, the Santa Maria Times reported. They used a forklift they were transporting to assist firefighters and rescue crews to free the trapped family.
The woman and 10-year-old girl suffered major injuries and were flown to the hospital. The 10-week-old girl was “conscious and alert” and sustained only minor injuries, according to KTLA.
Capt. David Sadecki with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told the Santa Maria Times it was “very fortunate” the Seabees had a forklift nearby, calling the rescue operation “extensive.”
“[It was] one of the most difficult ones we’ve had in a long time,” he said. “Almost to the point where you couldn’t tell what type of car it was, which is pretty remarkable.”