Rescuers work to free a driver from a car that was nearly submerged in water after a crash. (Dec. 2, 2012/Asheville Fire Dept.)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -
Police said an Asheville driver is recovering after she crashed her car, flipping it into the French Broad River late Sunday night.
Asheville police said they found a car partially submerged in the river along Lyman Street with 46-year-old Ronda Williams trapped inside. Two witnesses called 911 after they saw the car go off the road and into the river.
Officers said Williams was headed south on Lyman Street and ran off the road to the right, down an embankment, overturning into four feet of water.
"It's like 'bam,' and then it just toppled over at least two times off the bank and then everything wet pitch dark, black," Williams said. "I know it (the water) came up to at least here, up to my shoulder near my neck."
Williams said she didn't have a lot of room to breathe, but held onto an airbag as water filled her car. She said she was in the car for at least an hour and tried to stay calm as she prayed for help.
"I was doing this whew, whew, I just kept going, 'Whew, I'm going to die,'" Williams said as she demonstrated her sporadic breathing.
The Asheville Fire Department Water Rescue and Dive Team rescued Williams. Firefighters said when they found her, she was able to stay alive by breathing from a small pocket of air in her submerged car.
"A diver put on thermal dive suits got in the water and broke the driver car windows," John Presley said.
Presley is the fire chief with the Asheville Fire Department. He said the water was murky and cold, about 55 degrees.
"When the diver got into the car he felt a leg in there and when he touched the leg, at first there was no response," Presley said. "We got her out and asked if she was alright and she said she was just cold."
Officials said she was taken to Mission Hospital with minor, non-life-threatening injuries.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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