Teen Saved After Being Stuck on Top of Sinking Truck


A teenager in Watsonville, California was rescued from the top of a sinking truck after flooding water carried the vehicle off of the road and into a body of water that was at least 8 feet deep.

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Rescue Mission


Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Hernandez was in critical condition when the rescue team was finally able to reach her. She had begun to lose feeling in the lower half of her body. A surfboard-shaped floatation device was used to retrieve the teen from the top of the car. The job was a bit tricky because Hernandez didn’t know how to swim.

“If it would have been much longer, she would have probably gone in and she doesn’t swim, so it would have been a bad result,” Lt. Shon Leonetti from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office shared with local news outlet Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Safe And Sound


The teen had been stranded in the freezing surge for nearly an hour before a team of rescuers were able to reach her. Before law enforcement was able to reach the scene, two bystanders were screaming loudly and attempting to help her from the top of the vehicle.

We saw her weeping and crying and asking for help,” Justin O’Brien explained. “Then the [rescuers] came straight into action.”

Hernandez was shivering atop the roof as rescuers waded their way out to her. They were able to keep above the surface of the thick floodwater while they maneuvered her to safety with the floatation device. She could only communicate in Spanish.

“She was experiencing numbness in her lower extremities so we just kept talking to her and keeping her informed that help is coming and just trying to do our best to keep her focused,” Leonetti shared.

Read More: Los Angeles Sinkhole Swallows Car, Two Rescued Safely (rare.us)

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