TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - Four of five people who were hurt in a wreck Friday evening in Texarkana have been released from the hospital.
They include the 8-month-old girl who was ejected from a car and tossed about 35 feet before landing unharmed in a storm grate.
The driver of the car is the only person remaining in the hospital following the wreck about 7 p.m. Friday near mile marker 3 on eastbound Interstate 30.
Firefighters have said it was a miracle that the infant survived.
"There had to be some kind of divine intervention for her to end up being okay," said a clearly amazed Texarkana firefighter Josh Moore, who says 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.
The drainage grate where the child landed sits in the middle of the interstate median, about 35 feet from the roadway.
"We immediately began searching in the hay," Moore recalled. "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, was just sitting there waiting for us."
Texarkana, Ark., fire Capt. Charlie Smith said: "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."
The little girl immediately was evaluated for injuries. EMTs found little more than a scratch on her forehead.
"There had to be some kind of divine intervention for her to end up being okay the way she was," Moore said.
"To be ejected from that all the way down this hill," Smith added.
"Yeah, a good 25 feet away from this grate right here and end up being okay is just simply amazing," Moore continued. "Up until we heard her, I was just worried about it being more of a recovery rather than a rescue. But once we heard her, it was just a sigh of relief."
"So many times, we go out and things aren't okay," an emotional Smith said. "And just during the holidays here to have a positive just feels good."
None of the 4 people who were in the car with the infant was seriously hurt, but all 5 were taken to the hospital for evaluation.
No names have been released.
Officials have said that the family is from Hope, Ark.
Texarkana, Ark., 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 wreck. No citation was issued related to the lack of proper child restraints.
The driver of the 18-wheeler that is believed to have clipped the family's car, thus causing the crash, has been cited for an improper and unsafe lane change.