WOLFCOM Police Body Cameras Capture Rescue of Baby Lily Groesbeck from Overturned Car in Spanish Fork River

April 06, 2015

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCEwXoQ6kzQ” width=”400″ height=”240″]


by Christopher Collora

SPANISH FORK, UT- The dramatic rescue of 18-month-old Lily Groesbeck from an overturned vehicle inside of the Spanish Fork River in Spanish Fork, Utah in March was captured on WOLFCOM VISION police body cameras worn by Spanish Fork police officers Jared Warner, Bryan Dewitt, Jason Harward, and Tyler Beddoes. This is just the latest example of how vital body camera videos are becoming as tools in documenting police work and events.

In addition to the remarkable rescue footage, the story made national headlines because some of the police officers who rescued Lily claimed they heard a women’s voice yelling for help inside the car, which is what prompted them to run into the river and overturn the car. When they did, they found that Lily’s mother, Jennifer Groesbeck was dead and Lily was unconscious in her car seat after nearly 14 hours in the freezing cold weather. The police officers quick action resulted in saving the life of baby Lily.

“This is exactly why we build our body cameras, so that people can see what the police officer sees so that they will put the viewer right in the shoes of the user,” said WOLFCOM Founder Peter Austin Onruang.

“It’s important for police departments to utilize body cameras so the real story can be told,” said Wolfcom CEO Tiffany Wang.Police Officer Jared Warner, Spanish Fork PD

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Police Officer Jared Warner was one of the responding officers who helped turn over the car and rescue baby Lily. He says that having his Wolfcom Vision Body Camera was a huge asset in this situation.

“It was pretty crazy arriving on the scene and seeing the vehicle overturned in the river and going through the process of determining if there were people inside and making the decision to turn it over,” said Warner.

According to Warner, this all happened very quickly and it was difficult to focus on everything going on. As for the mysterious voice, Warner said “Before we made the decision to turn it over we heard somebody say “help me”… you can hear a sound in the video, but it’s hard to make out, but you definitely hear some noise and hear us respond to it… I can’t say where it came from other then it came from the car. We know it couldn’t have come from the mother or the baby, and we would not have responded to it the way we did if we thought it was coming from outside of the vacinity we were in,” said Warner.

Officer Warner’s raw footage. Readers are invited to make their own interpretation as to the mysterious sound captured on camera. At the 2:00 mark there is an audible voice/sound, to which one of the officers clearly responds to saying “We’re helping, we’re coming”

“Having the body camera footage is exceptional,” says Warner. “I had my camera turned on when we arrived at the scene. Just reviewing the footage, we definitely saw a lot of other things we didn’t see at the time. For example, the fisherman helped us turn over the car and we weren’t aware of that at the time. There was a lot going on and when you’ve got that high intensity situation and you can get tunnel vision and you can miss details.”

Officer Warner says that even though the body cameras are new to the department,  he definitely sees the value of using his WOLFCOM VISION police body camera. “It’s definitely a good thing for us, we only had the cameras for about two weeks before this happened. It’s nice and easy to use and turn on… In situations where your adrenalin is flowing and you get tunnel vision there’s a lot of things you may not remember and having that video to review helps complete the investigation and increases your report accuracy It’s defiantly a benefit for daily police work. ”

Lt. Cory Slaymaker from the Spanish Fork Police Department says the Wolfcom Vision Body Camera’s were purchased in February and weren’t fully handed out to all police officers until the beginning of March. He says this rescue is one of the first incidents recorded with the cameras.

“In this case it was beneficial to have a record of what happened in the rescue. We were also able to show the family exactly what took place,” said Slaymaker.  “We can also use this and other video footage for training purposes….The video was able to show where the condition and location of the vehicle before it was turned over and it helped greatly in our investigation.”