updated 2/28/2009 7:48:39 PM ET 2009-03-01T00:48:39

Crews on Saturday were using sonar to search the bottom of the Colorado River after a car plunged 60 feet into a canyon and sank in the icy river, trapping a 5-year-old girl inside.

The 60-year-old driver, Evelyn M. Maestas of Mancos, Colo., and her 11-year-old adopted daughter, Tori, were able to escape through a broken window and get out of the river after their car went off the road Friday, officials said. They told authorities they saw Maestas' granddaughter, 5-year-old Danica, still inside the sinking car.

Crews were walking along the shore and using the sonar technology, which provides underwater images of the river bottom, but the bottom of the murky water is strewn with large boulders, Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, a Utah Highway Patrol spokesman, told The Associated Press.

"We're having a hard time looking through all the nooks and crannies," Nigbur said Saturday. "The Colorado River is also very dirty and you can't see a thing."

He also said crews didn't know if the car sank quickly or had enough air to help it move farther down the river.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Darrel Mecham said Evelyn and Tori Maestas suffered from hypothermia and were taken to the hospital. Their condition was not immediately available Saturday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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