WNDU photographer Eric Walton was trapped in a station SUV when it overturned on a flooded road Tuesday.
Walton said he realized the cars around him on a local road had been abandoned because of flooding so he tried to turn around. “As I start to turn around, the car lifted,” said Walton. “It was a nice little boat ride for about a minute or so and sort of hung up on one of those rails over there.”
Walton told the station he called 911 when water started coming in through the floorboards.
“I looked around and I don’t have anything in the front seat that would break [the window]. [The 911 operator] said I could use my keys. I tried that and that didn’t work. So I laid down across the seat and tried to kick it open. That wasn’t working and they’re like, oh are you out yet? No!”
The South Bend NBC affiliate’s photographer said he used a tripod handle to break a window and escape.
“I go to the top of the car and realize it was tilting and was going to turn over and sink at the same time,” Eric said. “That’s when I told the guy, I’m out. I’m on the roof. It’s sinking. Then I jumped in the water.”
He swam to safety. The station reports he came in to work this morning.
“I’m happy to be here,” Eric said. “I’m happy to be telling the story as opposed to having somebody else tell it in an obituary.”