HOCKESSIN, D.E., (CBS) – The region woke up to an icy mess, left over from yesterday's snow and wintry mix. Officials say those conditions may have caused a car to crash into a creek. Now, officials are speaking out about the accident that led to a dramatic rescue.
An 18-year-old woman is lucky to be alive, after the car she was driving skid off an icy road in Yorklyn Delaware and plummeted into what was then an icy river.
That woman is Emily Earnest from Hockessin, buckled into her seat, was upside down and gasping for air.
"She was still belted into the vehicle," said Matthew Burge, a Hockessin firefighter. "Everything was covered in water except about neck level. She was holding herself out of the water with her seatbelt. We were able to break the window, cut her seatbelt, and get her free."
Burge and firefighter George Lamborn were the first on the scene.
"First reaction is getting into the water and getting the individual out," said Lamborn said.
They were faced with the fact that her car could flip entirely over at any time.
"When the vehicle landed on the water, it landed on a big rock and it prevented it from going all the way over," Burge said.
Luckily, both men knew they had to act quickly.
"This is definitely a type of call we don't get every day. 20 years of service and this is only the second one that was like this," said Lamborn.
Emily Earnest's mother tells Eyewitness News her daughter is out of the hospital and in a statement said in quote, "We're thankful the response was so quick".
Delaware state police cited her for careless driving.
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