TEXARKANA, Ark. --Firefighters said it's a miracle that an 8-month-old infant thrown from a car in a crash Friday evening survived.
"There had to be some kind of divine intervention for her to end up being okay," Texarkana firefighter Josh Moore said.
He added that family members told them when they arrived on the scene that the infant had been thrown from their car and that they could not find her.
A drainage grate sits in the middle of the interstate median, about 25 feet from the roadway, and that's where the infant was found.
"We immediately began searching in the hay," Moore said. "A Good Samaritan was already out here searching in the hay, and he claimed he heard something in this general direction."
Sure enough, with the removal of a layer of hay from a drainage grate, they made the amazing discovery.
"The baby at the time - the 8-month-old - was actually sitting down in the grate, sitting up and looking up at us waiting for us to pull her out. She wasn't screaming, she wasn't crying, she was just sitting there waiting for us," Moore said.
The little girl was immediately evaluated for injuries. EMTs found little more than a scratch on her forehead.
"We reached down there and she more or less had her hands up for somebody to pick her up. It took 3 of us to work her around the grate and get her back up through," Capt. Charlie Smith said.
None of the other four people in the car at the time of the crash were seriously injured, but all were taken to the hospital for evaluation.
No names were released, but officials said the family is from Hope, Arkansas.
Police have since confirmed that the car seat, which was found outside the vehicle when first responders arrived, was not properly installed and that the child was not properly restrained in the seat at the time of the crash.
However, there were no citations related to the lack of proper child restraints.
KSLA-TV reports that the driver of an 18-wheeler that is believed to have clipped the family's car, causing the crash, is being cited for an improper and unsafe lane change.