TOOELE — One woman is alive after her car hydroplaned during Thursday night’s storm, sending her car into a water-filled ravine along Interstate 80.
“That water just kept pouring in, and she said at that point, ‘I didn’t know how I was ever going to get out from here,’ she thought she was drowning,” said Shelly Wolf, the mother of the 23-year-old driver in the accident.
Wolf listened on the phone in horror as her daughter described what happened to her that night, saying she was driving under the speed-limit but hit a patch of water and flew across the road.
“She said all that could go through her mind was how grateful she was for the man who rescued her,” Wolf said.
Brian Endicott and his wife Shelly were driving behind the 23-year-old and watched as she went off the road.
“I just remember vocalizing, ‘holy crap,’ and we just immediately stopped the car,” said Shelly Endicott.
Running down the steep ravine, Brian Endicott said he couldn’t hear anything with the pounding storm in his ears.
“A little prayer going through my head: ‘as I get down there, please be okay,’” Brian said. “I start yelling out to her, ‘is anyone there, is everything okay?’ No response.”
Brian stood in waist-high water and realized the driver’s window was below the water, but the woman inside was alive.
“I laid down in the water and got my head right next to her window and I can barely see her,” said Brian.
Struggling to pull the door open, Brian lifted the 23-year-old to safety — shaken, but uninjured.
“With tears in her eyes, it was ‘thank you, thank you,’” Brian said.
For Wolf, it was a miracle that her daughter left the accident alive.
“I’m so grateful … that they stopped and were willing to do whatever it took to get her out of the car,” Wolf said.
DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — A near miss on Interstate 15 left a driver rattled and thankful to be alive.
Nicci Sanders was headed north toward Ogden Monday morning when she noticed an object flying toward her car.
“Everything happened in slow motion,” Sanders recalled. “I saw the beam coming lengthwise at me and just thought, ‘I am going to die. I am going to die.’”
Sanders had just seconds to react.
“I really didn’t know what to do other than to try to keep my car in control,” Sanders said. “I moved to the left as much as I could without going off the edge of the freeway.”
That quick thinking moved the car just enough so the 4-foot metal beam missed hitting the driver’s side. Instead, it slammed into the passenger side of the windshield.
“It exploded. I was covered in glass from head to toe. It was spilling out of my ears this morning,” Sanders said.
She didn’t even suffer a scratch. She’s thankful she was paying attention and fears this could have had a much darker outcome if she had been driving distracted.
“It just could have been so terribly wrong,” Sanders said. “That’s the miracle. That you’re completely focused on the road. You are aware of everything.”
She hopes this serves as a wake-up call for anyone transporting heavy items or cargo.
“Any service vehicle needs to be inspected. Body inspections need to be done.”
Utah Highway Patrol eventually caught up with the truck, and the driver was cited for failing to secure a load.
Sanders is still trying to get over the shock of what happened.
“It was just terrifying. I had a lot of anxiety when I got home,” she said. “I’ve been up since 12:30 this morning. I couldn’t sleep last night.”
It may take some time before she feels comfortable driving on the freeway again.
“I drove today, and there is some doubt,” Sanders said. “I’m just scared to death now.”