Just days before Thanksgiving a Jackson family is grateful to be alive after their SUV overturned in a creek. It was a dramatic rescue by Jackson Fire and Police who risked their lives to save a mother and two daughters.
Jackson Firefighter Erik Baker was waist deep in Hardy Creek at Monticello Drive around 9:30 Monday night after a Chevy Tahoe skidded through a curve and landed on its roof.
"It was dark and the water was more like a small Mississippi River," said Baker. "The water was very cold, but the rescue was my job."
The eight year station 11 firefighter was second on the scene where the three women were submerged in the creek.
JPD freed one woman. Then a firefighter, Lt. Monyette Funchess, was swept downstream.
Minutes later Funchess emerged from the woods, and the woman's sister was saved. But their mother, the driver, was still inside the overturned vehicle.
"I went under and heard a voice. It was a young lady. She said 'I can't, I'm trying to get air.' There were air pockets in the car. Water was rushing through, five, 10 miles an hour. We're holding on to dear life, for our lives," said Baker.
In the downpour and dark of night weighted down in full gear, Baker pulled her from the SUV.
"I didn't think twice. I just wanted to make sure everybody was fine," said the 42 year old rescuer.
"That has happened quite a few times," said Terrell Watkins, who lives two doors down from Hardy Creek. "I had to pull one lady out one time before when it rained."
This is becoming all to familiar for the assembly worker who has seen several vehicles plunge into those waters.
Monday night he and neighbors looked on in horror as the rescue unfolded.
"A lot of them were cold, and I went in the house and got a blanket for them," said Watkins. "I tried to rub them and tried to keep them warm. It's just in my heart to try to do good you know."
Firefighters Baker and Funchess were treated for hypothermia and released from a Jackson hospital.
If you find yourself submerged in your vehicle firefighters have this advice.
"Try to find an air pocket, get air and try to remain calm," added Baker. "If you can sit there until help comes it would be a help."
Firefighters remind you to remain calm even when rescuers have you in their grasp because your struggling makes it harder for them to get you to safety.
Of course you can swim to safety, but firefighters advise against kicking out windows of submerged vehicles because water could rush in and rob you of any pockets of air.
Friday, August 29 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:50:26 GMT
Special Judge Hollis McGehee has decided to dismiss an election challenge filed by Chris McDaniel..More >>
Special Judge Hollis McGehee has decided to dismiss an election challenge filed by Chris McDaniel. The judge announced his decision Friday in Gulfport, but that may not be the end to the legal battle between the two candidates.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 1:30 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:30:06 GMT
Gruesome and disturbing new details were revealed Friday morning in a pre-trial hearing for the man accused of killing 5-year-old Janaya ThompsonMore >>
Gruesome and disturbing new details were revealed Friday morning in a pre-trial hearing for the man accused of killing 5-year-old Janaya Thompson. The Gulfport girl was sexually assaulted and strangled in July. Alberto Julio Garcia is charged with capital murder in the case. During Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that DNA evidence found on Janaya's body has come back from the crime lab with a positive match for Garcia's DNA.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:40:25 GMT
Officials continue to search for the man who beat and robbed a woman during a home invasion in Yazoo City on Monday night. According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front doorMore >>
According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front door for a person she thought needed help.
Friday, August 29 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:45:32 GMT
It was a short and simple ceremony on the Biloxi Town Green Friday morning to mark the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. High school students solemnly read the names of those killed by the storm.More >>
A small crowd gathered on the town green in Biloxi on Friday morning for the annual Hurricane Katrina observance. Nine years after the storm, Mayor A.J. Holloway acknowledged the tremendous losses, but also talked about the significant progress that's been made in the years since.More >>