5 Days After Miracle Rescue, School Carries On

Parents at Del Obispo Elementary are waiting for green light to help family of schoolteacher injured in Santa Barbara crash. But, for now, everyone is observing the family's call for privacy.

School resumed Tuesday at as if nothing were amiss.

Principal Eric Gruenewald introduced the student of the week, who led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. That was followed by a short announcement about a talent show, then the principal wished everyone a great day.

No one mentioned, publicly anyway, that has made , one that almost took – but miraculously did not – the life of a Del Obispo teacher and her two daughters.

Last Thursday, first-grade teacher Kelli Groves, 36, was driving north on Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County when a big rig clipped her BMW. The truck plunged 100 feet to the creek below, while Groves’ car, which also carried her 10-year-old daughter, Sage, and 10-week-old Milo, was pushed halfway off the bridge.

By now, the story has gone viral. While firefighters struggled valiantly to free the family, a Navy Seabees construction battalion happened to be stuck in the resulting traffic jam. The Seabees offered their forklift, using it to stabilize the BMW so it would not fall.

That gave firefighters the time they needed to use the "jaws of life" to extricate the young family. All three were taken to a local hospital, and the baby has since returned to San Juan Capistrano, according to media reports.

Gruenewald said the Groveses do not want school officials speaking publicly about the accident right now.

“Her family wants to keep information close to them. Things are changing every day,” he said, adding that some media reports have contained errors.

Two of Groves' children attend Del Obispo: Sage, who remains hospitalized with her mom at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, and a first-grade son.

“Mrs. Groves is an outstanding mother and teacher very involved with all the kids in her class. Even on maternity leave, as her children still attend the school, she was there every day helping out,” said Toni Yater, who has a son in Groves’ class.

“I know this family will have the strength to pull through in any situation,” Yater said, adding that she hopes the school community can shower them in love and support.  

Until then, she understands the family's call for privacy.

Meanwhile, the crash has started lengthy conversations across the globe, with readers of the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom discussing driving skills of truckers and readers of Glenn Beck’s news site, The Blaze, discussing whether God’s hand was on the family


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