Nightly News   |  January 17, 2012

Calif. car crash heroes speak out

A team of Navy Seabees happened to drive by just in time to help save a mother and her two children. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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

>>> have a follow-up tonight from a story we reported here last night about that terrible car crash in southern california that left a mother and her two young daughters in their car, dangling from a bridge. inside the wreckage of a car that didn't look to be survivable. but as we said, a team of navy seabees happened to be driving by just in time. and tonight, we have the first interview with the heroes who saved the day and the family rescued in the ordeal.

>> reporter: it looked as bad as a road accident can look. the first calls to dispatch made that clear.

>> engine 31, will be a vehicle that's.

>> translator: ing -- that's teetering off the bridge with three victims in it.

>> kelly lynn groves was pinned in the manglinged wreckage of the car with her two young daughters. the car that hit her fell below. the driver was killed. we need a forklift to secure that vehicle but ours is 45 minutes away. unbelievable, that's exactly what passed by at exactly that moment. although it didn't belong to the fire department . it belonged to the amazing see seab seabees .

>> it was just amazing.

>> we said we have this fore lift capable of lifting 11,000 pounds. we can hold that car up and save those lives.

>> first to be removed, 10-year-old sage, the most serious injured and then 10-week-old milo with minor injuries. she was 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.

>> we're trained to adapt and overcome.

>> reporter: it took two hours and 21 minutes from the start of the rescue until the last victim was pulled out alive. intense and unforgettable minutes for all involved, filled with skill, experience, courage and good luck to make a miracle possible. mike taibi, nbc news, california.