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Teacher, Daughter Released from Santa Barbara Hospital

Kelli Groves releases a statement of gratitude as she returns to San Juan Capistrano after a death-defying car accident and rescue.

Kelli Groves – the teacher whose car was clipped by a big-rig truck and left dangling – and her injured daughter have returned home to San Juan Capistrano.

According to the Santa Ynez Valley News, Groves, who is on maternity leave, and her 10-year-old daughter, Sage, were released from Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara on Friday, eight days after the accident made headlines and . Groves' 10-week-old daughter, Milo, had returned home earlier.

An unnamed hospital source told the Santa Barbara County newspaper both would require extensive recovery and rehabilitation.

The accident occurred Jan. 12 as Groves drove north on Highway 101, about 35 miles north of Santa Barbara. A truck hit her BMW from the rear and careened off the bridge, plunging 100 feet to the creek below. The truck's driver, Charles Allison Jr., died.

Navy SeaBees, caught up in the ensuing traffic jam, were able to position their heavy-duty forklift to stabilize Groves’ car, preventing it from following the truck. Rescue workers took 2 ½ hours to extricate Groves and her daughters from the car.

Baby Milo emerged unscathed. California Highway Patrol officers have credited an infant car seat properly placed in the middle of the backseat for saving her.

The family issued a statement:

The Groves family is now focusing its strength and energy on recovering from the traumatic ordeal that occurred January12 near Buellton.

The outpouring of support from the local community and well-wishers from afar has been touching and very much appreciated by the Groves; at the appropriate time, they hope to express personally their deepest thanks to all of the first responders and emergency personnel who came to their rescue, as well as to the doctors, nurses and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for their excellent and compassionate care.

At the same time, they remain concerned for and extend their prayers to the family and loved ones of Charles Allison Jr., the truck driver killed in this incident.

The Groves continue to request privacy during this difficult time, but want friends, family and well-wishers to know how much their support means to them.

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