TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - A mother and her family and friends from Hope, Arkansas are counting their blessings after surviving a wreck in Texarkana, Arkansas Friday night.
Justice Lawson was one of five people traveling in a car in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 30 around 7 p.m. on November 25. Authorities say an 18-wheeler clipped the car while changing lanes. In the aftermath, Justice says the airbag flung her mom Trina Johnson, who was driving, into the road. Before Justice could get to her and pull her to the side, Trina was hit by a passing vehicle.
"I looked down and all I saw was blood on me. All I could say was 'Momma, you're still alive?' I thought you were dead," remembered Lawson.
Trina's friend, Jakesia Colson, was also in the car. She began looking for her missing 8-month daughter Bryce Hale, who was thrown from the car.
" I started running up and down the highway looking everywhere for her, calling her name,"Colson said. "I didn't hear a baby crying, no baby screaming,
nothing. I panicked. I thought she was gone. It was the worst 15 minutes of my life trying to look for her."
Texarkana firefighters found Bryce in a drainage grate in the middle of the median at least 25 feet away. They called it a miracle that the baby had little more than a scratch on her forehead.
Her mother agrees.
"I know it was a miracle," said Colson. "The way they had to pull her out of the drain. They couldn't just pull her out. They had to turn her head a certain way and turn her body a certain way to get her out. She was just sitting there looking up waiting for them to come get her."
Remarkably, Justice, Trina, Jakesia, Bryce, and the baby's aunt Shameerah Colson all survived without serious injuries. Only Trina still remains in the hospital.
"I'm happy to be alive," said Bryce's aunt Shameerah Colson. "At night time, I sit and cry because I think I could have been dead. My niece could
have been dead. My sister could have been dead. My momma could have been planning three funerals but she's not because we are all alive."
"I was just overwhelmed with joy," said Jakesia Colson. "I started crying and thanking God for sparing my baby, for sparing us, for not taking my angel away from me. She is my miracle baby.
The driver of that 18-wheeler has been cited for an improper and unsafe lane change. Officials say the car seat that Bryce was in was not properly installed. There were no citations related to the lack of proper child restraints.
The family did not want to talk to us about the car seat.