Erica Kennedy will never forget this weekâ€™s winter weather after she found herself submerged in icy water following a vehicle accident near the Lincoln/Catawba County line Monday morning.
“I could be better,” she told the Times-News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old said she was on her way to work in Mooresville around 5:45 a.m. when her 2003 Jeep Liberty hit black ice on a bridge on N.C. 150 East near Slanting Bridge Rd. in Catawba County.
She said her vehicle immediately slid across the center line, twice striking a guardrail on the opposite side of the roadway before sliding down an embankment and landing upside down in an area waterway.
“Within seconds, I was under water,” Kennedy said.
After failed attempts to break the driverâ€™s side window, she noticed water was quickly pouring in through the passengerâ€™s side window, which she said had been shattered in the wreck.
“If it wasnâ€™t for that, I couldnâ€™t have gotten out,” she said. “I was trying to yell for help but I couldnâ€™t â€” nothing was coming out.”
Kennedy immediately crawled through the window and fled the vehicle. After climbing halfway up the rocky embankment, she said she again screamed for help and saw a delivery truck driver up ahead. The man carried her to safety.
“He came running down and picked me up,” Kennedy said. Emergency crews arrived a short time later, and she immediately called her boyfriend, a Charlotte paramedic, to the scene.
“He was coming off a 14-hour shift â€¦ and he came straight to me,” she said.
Kennedy sustained just a few minor cuts and bruises in the incident.
“I have two scrapes on my face, a bump on my head and paper cuts on my hands,” she said. “I was able to walk away fine.”
Sheâ€™s concerned that the bridgeâ€™s guardrail is too low for the area and may cause more wrecks in the future.
“The guardrail is extremely low,” she said, “the lowest one Iâ€™ve ever seen. I pray to God they make it higher.”
Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire and Rescue confirmed details of the wreck with the Times-News. Catawba County Emergency Medical Services additionally responded.
Two other wrecks occurred along N.C. 150 Monday, according to Lincoln County EMS. One occurred just before 6 a.m. at Ingleside Farm Road. No injuries were reported.
According to EMS Public Information Officer Kim Green, crews were unable to locate a second incident reported at the intersection of N.C. 150 and N.C. 16.