Sheriff: "She had very little air left. She was about to drown"

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

SMITH COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - In retrospect, it was a pretty good night for Kris Powell.

"A woman's life was saved," he said. "What could have been a tragic incident turned into an absolute blessing."

Powell said he lives near the location of the accident. Powell and his girlfriend, Jessica Arrington, were outside his home when he saw several rescue vehicles heading in the direction of the wreck.

The couple decided to go investigate.

"He told me to stay in the car, so I'm sitting there, just waiting, and he comes back to the car soaking wet," said Arrington.

Smith County Deputies Kim Brown and Daniel Leon just happened to be patrolling the area. Sheriff J.B. Smith tells us a woman stopped the deputies just a few yards down the road. The woman said she'd seen the car go flying into the creek.

Smith said when deputies arrived, all they could see was a muffler and four wheels sticking up out of the water. "[The driver] had very little air left inside that vehicle," said Smith. "She was about to drown."

Captain Matt York with the Dixie Volunteer Fire Department lives nearby and was eventually dispatched to the scene.

"She's very fortunate somebody saw her go off the road."

The woman's car was upside down. Sgt. Toby Hughes and Deputy Theresa Smith, also with the Smith County Sheriff's Office, arrived later.

By that time, Powell had also arrived. Everyone jumped in the water to lift the car and free the trapped woman from the water.

"We hear about all the bad, but this is an example of good--a guy stopped to help us, and we really appreciate it," said Smith.

"If you have an opportunity, do what the Lord would do," said Powell. "Go out there and lend a helping hand because it may just make a difference."

The woman was taken to a local hospital, treated and released. The accident remains under investigation.

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