San Juan Teacher and 2 Kids Saved From Bridge Plunge

A fiery crash leaves Del Obispo Elementary's Kelli Groves and her children dangling from a freeway overpass in their mangled BMW. Firefighters and Navy Seabees come to the rescue.

A San Juan Capistrano schoolteacher and two children were rescued Thursday as their BMW dangled off a freeway overpass near Buellton.

The dramatic rescue (see video here) unfolded Thursday afternoon when a big-rig truck rear-ended the BMW as it traveled north on the 101 Freeway, knocking the car through a guardrail and sending the truck flying off the bridge into a creek 100 feet below, where it burst into flames, according to the Lompoc Record.

The driver of the truck, 48-year-old Charles Arthur Allison of Grover Beach, was killed. And the occupants of the car -- identified as 36-year-old Kelli Groves of San Juan Capistrano, 10-year-old Sage Groves and 10-week-old Milo Groves -- were left teetering over the creek, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Kelli Groves teaches first grade at Del Obispo Elementary.

After being pulled from the vehicle, she and the children were hospitalized with minor to moderate injuries, according to news reports.

A group of Navy Seabees stuck in traffic after the accident helped save the family, according to the Record, using a forklift aboard their vehicle to help keep the BMW from falling off the bridge.

Del Obispo Elementary Principal Eric Gruenewald said he had been fielding calls about Groves, but didn't want to comment beyond that.

To read more, click here, here or here. For a photo gallery, click here.

Lauren January 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I scanned the pictures. What a lucky family. My mother had a run in with a big rig and the CHP told her she was very lucky and if it were another car and not her BMW, she might not have been so lucky.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 08:57 PM
There is a lot of information on the internet about our Fighting Seabees. I found this one awhile ago and thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy the read! The Illustrious History of the U.S. Navy Seabees _____________________________________ Their simple motto tells the story: “With compassion for others, we build, we fight, for peace with freedom.” For more than 60 years, the U.S. Navy Seabees have repeatedly demonstrated their skills from the islands of the Pacific, the jungles of Vietnam, the mountains of Bosnia and the sands of Saudi Arabia. And in peacetime, they have been goodwill ambassadors to the rest of the world. In 1941, Rear Admiral Ben Moreell, then chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Yards and Docks, recommended establishing a Naval Construction Battalion in order to create a construction force that, unlike civilian contractors, could defend themselves and their projects in times of war.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 08:58 PM
On January 5, 1942, after the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entrance into the war, Admiral Moreell was given the go-ahead to establish the Naval Construction Force thus enabling the Allied forces to extend their reach in both theaters of war by building advanced bases. The Seabees were officially established March 5, 1942. Seabees (the word comes from the first letters of Construction Battalion: CB) were recruited into the military from the civilian construction trades and placed under the leadership of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. More than 325,000 men served with the Seabees in World War II, fighting and building on six continents and more than 300 islands. In the Pacific, where most of the construction work was done, the Seabees landed soon after the Marines and built airstrips, bridges, roads, warehouses, hospitals, gasoline storage tanks and housing.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 08:59 PM
After World War II, the Naval Construction Battalions were reorganized into two types of units: Amphibious Construction Battalions and Naval Mobile Construction Battalions. By 1950 the Construction Battalions were reduced to 3,300 men on active duty; but this changed when the armed forces were called up during the Korean Conflict. The Seabees were among those called for duty. Fighting enormous ocean tides as well as enemy fire, the Seabees constructed causeways for assault troops as they landed at Inchon.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 09:00 PM
After the Korean Conflict, the Seabees were not demobilized but were given a supplementary mission of providing humanitarian support and disaster recovery to nations in need, giving the Seabees the nickname of “the Navy’s Peace Corps.” The Seabees’ first humanitarian mission occurred in 1953 when they were deployed to Greece in the wake of a devastating earthquake. They provided construction and training, including building roads and public utilities. In recent years, Seabees have aided the victims of various disasters, including Hurricanes Andrew, Hugo, Mitch and Ivan, along with the San Francisco earthquake and the Tunisian flood. They drilled wells, erected tents and built roads to help the Kurdish refugees in Iraq after Operation Desert Storm and helped citizens in the Philippines dig out from tons of volcanic ash following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Seabees also deployed to Somalia and Haiti to support humanitarian efforts there and constructed tent camps for more than 40,000 Haitian and Cuban migrants in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Seabees assisted tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand following the devastating earthquake in December 2004.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 09:00 PM
During the Vietnam War, Seabees proved their readiness. They built from the Delta region to the Demilitarized Zone, providing airstrips, camps, hospitals, exchanges, roads, warehouses, storage tanks, towers, fences and anything having to do with fighting a war or providing creature comforts for American forces. The Seabee’s builder-fighters were often under siege fending off enemy forces alongside their Marine and Army comrades. During the course of the Vietnam War, Seabee’s manpower climbed from 9,400 in 1965 to 26,000 in 1969.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 09:00 PM
In 1971 the Seabees began their largest peacetime construction project, on Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian Ocean. The project lasted 11 years and cost $200 million. The base accommodates the Navy’s largest ships and biggest military cargo jets, and proved invaluable during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. During the Gulf War, more than 5,000 Seabees (4,000 active and 1,000 reservists) served in the Middle East. Seabees continue to play a major role in the Global War on Terrorism. In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Seabees repaired runway facilities at Camp Rhino and Kandahar in Afghanistan. Twenty-six Seabee units deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The construction of multiple 20-acre aircraft-parking aprons, munitions storage areas, a 48,000-square-foot concrete pad, bridges, a 1,200-person camp and repaired various roads have been proven invaluable to coalition forces. The Seabee’s renovations to schools and municipal facilities also have helped the Iraqi people.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Today, Seabees are serving around the globe providing construction and humanitarian support. Under the command of the First Naval Construction Division (1NCD), which was commissioned in August 2002. The mission of 1NCD is to organize, train, operate and maintain the Naval Construction Force; to command and control Naval Construction Regiments; and to develop, coordinate and implement policy and requirements to man, equip and train Seabees. The First Naval Construction Division unified the Atlantic and Pacific Naval Construction Forces, providing a single command interface for global Seabee operations, overseeing about 18,000 Navy Seabees worldwide. For more information on the Seabees visit http://www.seabee.navy.mil/.
Mamie January 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Sorry for the multiple posts, but do hope that you enjoyed the read. Next time you run into a Seabee or any of our fighting men and women, please take a minute to say "thank you."


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