Saved from flood, Delco woman thanks rescuers

October 5, 2010 6:02:15 PM PDT
A Delaware County woman got to meet the men who saved her life. She was also allowed to reclaim items from the car that almost became her water-logged coffin.

Christine Pekala saw her little four-door Scion for the first time Tuesday since almost taking her last breath in it.

"It was the craziest thing in my life," Pekala said.

It was during the flooding early Friday Morning. Pekala was traveling down Bethel Road at Mill Road in Boothwyn when she hit the flood waters of the East Branch of Naaman's Creek. Seconds later, the car was spinning and water was over the windows.

"I remember thinking 'Calm down, find your handles, find your door handles, calm down," said Pekala.

Meanwhile, a police officer putting up a barricade spotted the car in the dark night. Boothwyn firefighters Dan Castagna, Jimmy Hallman, Jason Smith and others arrived on scene.

"The car was pinned up against those two trees," Hallman said, pointing to the location where the he found Pekala's vehicle.

"I remember feeling around and luckily, by the grace of God, I felt my passenger window and it still rolled down," said Pekala.

Firefighters say the current flowing there was nearly neck high. Christine was in the pitch dark, with nowhere to turn, so she grabbed on to little branches and, surprisingly, they held.

"As soon as we got on scene you could here her screaming, asking for help, begging for help," said Smith.

Using a 24 foot ladder, firefighters built a makeshift bridge to get to Christine's car.

"I just threw the bag probably to those bushes there, told her to grab it, turn away from us and we'll pull you in," said Hallman.

These volunteer firefighters are being humble about the rescue, but Christine says she's still shaken by it and will never forget the men who saved her life.

"I'm happy and I'm thankful," said Pekala. "I just want these guys to get the credit they deserve because I won't stop until they do."


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