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Family saved in a dramatic rescue on Highway 101

Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara News-Press via Zuma

Firefighters rescue a San Juan Capistrano family from a car dangling over a bridge after a fiery crash on Highway 101 near Buellton, Calif.

Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara News-Press

A big rig that burned after going off a bridge on Highway 101 in Califormia on Thursday lays covered with fire-extinguishing foam. The truck driver was killed, but firefighters rescued a mother and her two daughters.

A fiery crash south of Buellton, Calif. on Highway 101 claimed the life of a truck driver Thursday afternoon, but emergency personnel were able to rescue a family of three from a vehicle dangling over the side of the freeway bridge.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the northbound gravel truck, traveling in the fast lane, struck the BMW from behind and then careened off a bridge and into the creek adjacent to the freeway, where it burst into flames, killing the truck driver.

"The BMW was then forced into the center concrete wall where the three parties in the BMW became trapped in the vehicle." said Officer Danny Maher, California Highway Patrol.

Inside the car was  Kelli Groves, 36, Sage Groves, 10, and Milo Groves, 10 weeks, and one by one they were extricated from the vehicle that clung to a concrete guardrail above Nojoqui Creek in the Three Bridges area.

The Santa Maria Times and KSBY-TV contributed to the report.

A team of Navy Seabees happened to drive by just in time to help save a mother and her two children. NBC's Mike Taibbi reports.