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The car was removed from the river Monday night and towed into Moab.
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The woman helped the girl remove her wet clothing, wrapped her in a blanket and put her in Fitzgerald's truck to get warm. Then Fitzgerald and the truck driver began tying heavy webbed straps to a nearby signpost to create a makeshift harness with which to hoist Evelyn Maestas up to the roadway.
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"Meeting the family made me a little shaky," he said. "It's just such a sad, tragic thing. They're all in my thoughts."
The Colorado River was running at 3,300 cubic feet per second when the accident occurred on Feb. 27. The spot where the car went into water was a turbulent eddy where the roiling current was so strong it had pulled items from the car back upstream about one quarter New Era Caps Brooklyn Dodgers of a mile, Fitzgerald said.
"It was just an amazing group effort to do what we could for these people," Fitzgerald said. "Nobody was panicked; everybody just did what they had to do. The other people who came Kansas City Royals Hats New Era
"As I looked down at the river I could see a shoe, a hat, a blanket, and other things floating there on the surface," he said. "I originally thought that was where they went in."
Evelyn and Tori Maestas suffered hypothermia and minor injuries and were transported by ambulance to Allen Memorial Hospital in Moab, where they were treated and released.
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Fitzgerald quickly flagged down his real estate clients, who were riding in a Jeep behind him. A short time later a semi truck driver stopped, then a woman who was driving by, and finally, a couple who had spent the night camping along the river and were headed into town.
The crash occurred on state Route 128 about 28 miles from Moab. According to the UHP, Evelyn Maestas was driving west on the highway, and turned to comfort Danika in the backseat because the little girl had a headache. When Maestas looked back toward the road at about mile marker 28, the car drifted off the roadway, slipped over the edge and into the water below, according to the UHP.
spot is near the top of one of the steepest drop offs along SR 128.
Evelyn M. Maestas, 60, and her adopted 11 year old daughter Tori, also of Cortez, escaped the sinking car, but Danika was last seen in the car as the vehicle disappeared into the deep water, UHP spokesman Todd Johnson said Friday.
5 year old dies after car crashes into Colorado River
"It's a treacherous part of the road," Fitzgerald said.
He said Evelyn Maestas told him the car began floating backwards, upstream, before it sank.
The girl was Tori Maestas.
along were the perfect people to provide the help."
Meanwhile, the men in the Jeep drove a short distance upriver, where the debris could be seen floating on the water's surface, to look for Maestas' car. Another vehicle took off to find a telephone to call for help that stretch of highway has no cellular phone signal, Fitzgerald said.
"She said her mommy was still down the cliff and her sister was in the car in the river," Fitzgerald said. "The whole scene was kind of surreal."
Moab realtor Kevin Fitzgerald was the first person to come upon the scene moments after the Friday crash. As Fitzgerald rounded a curve headed east he saw a soaking wet young girl standing barefoot in the roadway waving her arms and yelling "Help me."
The crash launched a four day search to find the body of Danika Maestas of Cortez, Colo., in muddy waters that were 30 feet deep in some spots. Dive teams from the Moab Valley Fire Department and the Utah Department of Public Safety used sonar technology to try to locate the vehicle. But large boulders in the bottom of the Colorado, which showed up through sonar as objects that could possibly be the Nissan, hampered the effort, UHP spokesman Cameron Roden said Monday. The Grand County Sheriff's Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, and other area law enforcement agencies also assisted throughout the four day recovery effort. in a spot further downstream than expected. Danika's body was found, unbuckled from her safety seat, inside the car. Rescue workers placed her in a body bag then transported it to a nearby camping area to give family members who had held vigil throughout the search a chance to see her before she was taken to the medical examiner.
Dive teams located the body of a 5 year old Colorado girl who drowned when the car she was riding in plunged down a 60 foot embankment and into the river on Friday.
On Sunday, Fitzgerald met several members of the Maestas family at the search site. They hugged him and thanked him for his assistance to Evelyn and Tori.
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