Dateline   |  June 28, 2013

'Trapped,' Part 6

The young girls are free and headed to the hospital. Now it's Kelli's turn to come out.  But still she wonders, "Is the worst really over?"

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: a rescue helicopter sped above highway 101 , paramedics, delivering injured sage groves to santa barbara hospital hoping there was time to save her. the baby, milo had just been pulled out of her car seaten surprisingly good condition. then the was time for kelli to come out. this would be painful with that fractured pelvis.

>> greg had standing on this forklift over this dropoff, was maneuvering my feet to get it around the metal and they were lifting me from the top and he was pushing me down from the bottom.

>> her pelvis was damaged. so you couldn't kind of pull or lift too much.

>> i remember it -- the pain was not too much to handle because i -- it was worth every ounce of pain that i felt to get out of there.

>> reporter: then on the way to the hospital she got a mystical kind of reassurance.

>> when they put me in the am bah lens -- ambulance, the pair medding said my name is rj, i am here to help you. laying there on the stretcher, i just said that was my dad's name.

>> reporter: kelly's father died suddenly a few months before the accident. somehow she felt like he was with her as she arrived at the hospital desperate for news about her daughters. milo was okay. but sage's leg was crushed. pelvis broken. hip severely swollen. those were apparent injuries. the surgeons were already working on her. and still, kelly's husband jason , he said good-bye eight hours before, was utterly unaware what happened to his wife and daughters. kelli asked the hospital to call him at home.

>> the emergency room doctor says is this jason groves. i go, yes this is. he is like well your, wife and your daughter were in a car accident .

>> reporter: the doctor soft pedalled the details. everyone was all right. but that sage was in surgery and he needed to come now. he spoke with kelli 's sister.

>> jason was stunned. i think he didn't -- he was very focused on -- getting there. i think he needed to see for himself.

>> reporter: jason and son wilder drove to cottage hospital where jason was shocked to learn that sage was still in surgery.

>> and i go, surgery? i just drove four hours up here -- how can she be in surgery? i go down to the surgery room and the doctors are, the doors are shut and everything they won't let me in.

>> reporter: jason kept vigil for his family as one crisis turned into another. sage began bleeding internally, the source her severely broken pelvis. back to surgery. it was in the middle of all this, that a bleary eyed jason noticed a newspaper.

>> i slide it over. a front page . a car dangling over the bridge with kelli 's face in the car, that is mangled. i'm like, whoa. this is what happened.

>> reporter: now he began to wonder, like everyone else, how, against all odds, his family survived. and whether sage was going to make it.

>> so how are you doing?

>> good. ry good.

>> reporter: as it turned out, sage groves may have been the toughest one of all. you know, do you want to talk about this or not on television. here you are. you seem fine you. look great. she had a rod in her leg for a year. and there is some nerve damage. her leg still doesn't work the way it used to. maybe this is a good thing, but sunny doesn she doesn't remember much about the crash.

>> i remember getting in the car. i remember having the blanket over my head . and next thing i know, i hear shattering glass, and then -- nothing.

>> reporter: it's gone.

>> yeah.

>> reporter: she went through months of painful rehab and recovery. and grownups worried she would never walk normally again. but sage, sage the one-time soccer star, did not like that idea one bit. you shattered your leg really bad low to the point where it would be perfectly reasonable if you said, eh, i don't think i am going to go out and do sports anymore. people would have understood. why didn't you?

>> i don't know. i am just an active person. i don't like to sit inside and play video games all day.

>> reporter: what planet are you from?

>> i don't know.

>> reporter: sage decided she was going to walk again. in fact sunny was going to run and kick and score .

>> i helped a lot of other people score goals. not so much me scoring the goals. because i don't have as powerful kicks as the other people. but i pass to them. and they will score . so it's kind of like a goal.

>> reporter: an investigation into the crash revealed charles allison jr. had a high level of methamphetamine in his blood when he veered into kelli . but kelli who fully recovered from the accident doesn't are bar a lot of anger. it is more like gratitude. and sheer amazement.

>> how did this happen? that not, we didn't fall. which i knew we were going to. sage wasn't dead in that car. which i knew she was. milo is hardly hurt. i thought what is this? this is not how it was supposed to turn out in a sick way this is not possible.

>> reporter: so many things happened just right. like the way the car crumpled to form a cocoon like back seat.

>> had i had my child in the front seat, the engine was sitting there.

>> reporter: yeah.

>> she wouldn't hatch made it.

>> reporter: like the way sage kept the wind off her ears so she could hear a movie.

>> had she not had the blanket over her head, the glass from the window that ended up shattering and cutting up her body, not a stitch on her face.

>> reporter: like the way the cbs were delayed that day. and amazingly altered their convoy and thus had with them that very unusual forklift right there on the bridge where and when it was needed.

>> it was just luck. this was our, it was our last trip coming back. that was the very last piece of equipment that we had to bring back.

>> reporter: you were late?

>> and we were late.

>> reporter: if you had been on time --

>> we would not have been there.

>> reporter: so many what ifs. so many lives that intersected and were changed.

>> a lot of the men and women that were working that day, were around kelli 's age and had children the same age. and it just -- struck home with most of those guys that, that could have been them.

>> reporter: life for jason and kelli grefz kelli groves has changed. she drives them around. buckles them in the back seat. listens to the music of life . and they quarrel and argue and it is muse tubing ic to my ears. i think of the silence in the car, sage wasn't answering, and milo wasn't crying. it was silent but deafening. when they jabber in the back seat, don't touch me. stop copying me, sage did this