My Lucky Escape

by Marg Sooley

Preface

Car hits a deer, plunges into the freezing river. I fight to escape


Gene Kelly was belting out " Singing in the Rain" on the car radio. The rain was pounding on the windshield, as I tried to navigate the shoreline road, through the thick swirling fog. How appropriate I thought as I sang along to the music, thinking about my family waiting for me back at home. I could almost feel my husband's arms around me and my kids giving me a kiss before they went to bed, I could kill for a cold glass of wine, right now, when suddenly into the glare of my headlights, I could see two bright eyes shining back at me. "Oh My God!!" I screamed "its a deer!!" as I swerved to avoid It, went careening across the centre line, bounced over the guardrail and I could hear myself screaming as the car went airborne. It felt like I was on a roller coaster that flips back and forth. The front end of the car sliced through the icy water with the back end sticking up in the air.

I could feel the car slowly sinking, everything was so dark. The icy water was slowly seeping into the car. I have to get out of here. I tried not to panic. I knew I had less than 5 minutes before the car completely filled with water. I remembered hearing that car pressure will equalize when the water is within two inches of the roof. Then I would be able to open the car window. I unbuckled my seatbelt, clutched the steering wheel and with my other hand grasped the handle of the car window, desperately trying to roll the window down, while holding my breath and letting myself float in the car. Within seconds, the car was almost totally filled with water. Finally, I had the window almost completely down and I was able to let myself float out the window. It was so cold and dark, the water was pushing at me. I let myself swim with the current while still trying to push myself to the surface It seemed like forever, my arms were so heavy, I almost gave up a few times, but I thought of my family waiting for me at home and I knew I had to keep going. I prayed and I prayed like I never did before. "Please God, I whispered, get me out of here."

All of a sudden It started to look brighter, as my head popped up through the surface of the water. I saw lights flashing on the shore, I stuck my hand in the air and screamed: "I'm here, I'm here, over here." Then they started to yell,"there she is!! There she is!!." They started to wade through the water, lights flashing, yelling to me. " Hold on, we got you!!." Next thing I knew someone was holding me by the arms and pulling me towards shore. All I remember is saying "I'm safe!!, I'm safe!!" As I slipped into unconsciousness.

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