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Officer recounts rescuing baby from overturned car in river 7 years ago in new book

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

ST. GEORGE — March 13, 2015, is a day Tyler Beddoes will never forget. That was the day he, fellow officers and firefighters responded to an overturned car in the Spanish Fork River, which led to the rescue of baby Lily.

Now seven years later, Beddoes has written and released a new book called "Puzzled: The Impact of Policing in Today's America and How One Police Officer Learned to Overcome the Anguish."

"It's a book for anyone that maybe needs some hope," said Beddoes.

Beddoes said he wants to give people a front-row seat to policing, the mental health awareness around it and what he's learned over the years through Lily's story.

"That rescue's always there. Always in my heart," he said.

At the time, Beddoes was serving as a police officer with the Spanish Fork Police Department.

He said he remembers when the call came in for an overturned car in the river, and the level of urgency spiked when they realized there was someone still trapped inside the car.

"We heard an adult female's voice that said, 'Help me.' It was clear as day. It was almost like a calming voice, but urgent," said Beddoes.

The mystery of whose voice they heard is still a mystery as the woman inside the car had died several hours beforehand.

"In my mind, in my heart at that time, I thought I don't know what's calling out to us. There's nobody else around. It wasn't the baby," said Beddoes.

In the backseat, they found Lily, who was only 18 months old at the time.

He said she was upside down and barely above the rushing cold water for about 16 hours.

"In the car upside down for that many hours freezing cold — when we flipped the car, it submerged her underwater for three to four minutes," said Beddoes.

Through his 60-page book, Beddoes is merging what policing looks like from a mental health standpoint with what he's learned about being able to overcome by taking us back to Lily's story and the hope that's out there.

"To think OK, she was an infant, and now she's 8 years old. She's awesome," Beddoes said.

Beddoes said he got to talk with Lily and her family a little before Easter. He said she is doing really well with no side effects from the crash.

"We rescued Lily, but she really rescued me and a lot of other people that day and our faith," said Beddoes.

Beddoes said Lily's family describes Lily as a helper, which he says he agrees with wholeheartedly.

You can find his book "Puzzled" for sale on Amazon.


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Karah Brackin


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