By Peg McEntee
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A toddler rescued from a car that plunged into a Utah river last week was released from a Salt Lake City hospital on Wednesday, four days after she was found alive and dangling upside down in her car seat some 14 hours after the crash, the hospital said.
The girl, 18-month old Lily Groesbeck, was found by a fisherman on Saturday in a car seat inside the upturned vehicle alongside the body of her 25-year-old mother, Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, who was killed in the accident, police said.
The toddler was in the back seat of the car where police said water was just inches away from her face, and was rushed to Primary Children's Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said on Wednesday the child had been released.
"Today I want to speak publicly about the events from the past few days," the child's father, Devin Trafny, said in a statement on Wednesday. "Until now, I have been focusing totally on Lily, and I have spent every day at her bedside."
"Lily came into the hospital on Saturday in critical condition, and today she's in great condition — she's happy, playing, talking, and even reciting her nursery rhymes," he said. "Except for a few bruises, she has made a remarkable recovery."
Police said the accident appears to have occurred at around 10:30 p.m. on Friday as Groesbeck and her daughter were driving home to Springville, a suburb of Provo. A witness near the site heard a noise and investigated but saw nothing at the time, police said.
Groesbeck's partially submerged car was discovered by a fisherman shortly after noon on Saturday, with the vehicle resting face-down in the water. When authorities arrived, they discovered the girl in her car seat, police said.
The car appears to have struck a cement barrier on a bridge before entering the river, but the cause of the crash was not clear, police said. Spanish Fork Police Lieutenant Matt Johnson said on Wednesday that toxicology results were pending.
He said an investigator had found a small bag of marijuana in Groesbeck's purse, along with an unused, packaged syringe and a bottle of Tramadol, a pain killer. But he could not say if any of those items were a factor in the accident.
The items were taken to the state medical examiner's office in Salt Lake City, he said.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sandra Maler)