Family Rescued From Car Dangling Off Freeway Bridge

Accident near Buellton, Calif., tried up traffic for hours

By Yvonne Beltzer
|  Friday, Jan 13, 2012  |  Updated 5:37 PM PDT
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Santa Maria Times

Santa Barbara firefighters rescue victims from a vehicle that was dangling over the side of a freeway bridge near Buellton (photo provided courtesy Santa Maria Times).

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A family from San Juan Capistrano is recovering Friday from a very close call.

A mother and her two children were in their car when it was clipped Thursday from behind by a big-rig gravel truck and left dangling over the side of an overpass on the 101 Freeway south of Buellton, Calif.

The truck that hit the BMW went over the side and plunged into a creek bed, killing the driver.

A photo taken at the scene showed the family's car dangling precariously while inside were a 10-month-old baby, a 10-year-old girl and their 36-year-old mother.

Santa Barbara County firefighters were helped in the rescue by a group of Navy Seabees who happened to be stuck in the traffic that backed up after the accident.

Rescuers used a forklift, the Seabees happened to be transporting, to stop the BMW from sliding off the bridge.

The woman, identified as Kelli Lynn Groves, and the 10-year-old were airlifted to the hospital by helicopter.

The baby was taken to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara by ambulance.

The baby had only minor injuries, but the mother and the girl were being treated for more severe injuries.

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