(YELM, Wash.) — A woman who survived after her car plunged into a Washington state canal said she has car-safety equipment at hand since the accident and that she recommended other drivers get some too.
“[But] don’t leave it in the trunk,” Colette Smith told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV.
Smith was on her way home from Yelm, Washington state, early Sunday morning when her car hit a patch of ice and fell into the Centralia Canal.
“I didn’t have a plan,” she said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
Smith called 911 at 2:30 a.m. Sunday from her partially submerged 2013 Chevy Cruze.
“I hit some black ice,” she tells the 911 dispatcher on the taped call. “I was going home from Yelm and then I went off the road.…I’m in a big puddle and my car’s filling up with water. I don’t even know where I am.”
The 30-year-old told the dispatcher she was OK but could not get the car door open. It was reportedly pinned shut against an embankment.
“The water’s up to my knees,” she says. “The car’s sinking.”
After attempting to break the window several times with her keys, Smith was rescued by two police officers who broke the back window and helped her crawl out before the car sank into 12 feet of water.
“I was so panicked I didn’t even feel the cold,” she said, according to KOMO-TV. “I was more freaked that there was water coming into my car.”
Smith was treated at the hospital for minor injuries.
“I guess I’m lucky,” she said. “Somebody up there is looking out for me.”
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