Car in Ross Barnett Reservoir and woman survives - - Jackson, MS

Car in Ross Barnett Reservoir and woman survives

By Jewell Hillery email

BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - A Brandon woman is recovering from hypothermia after her vehicle plummets into the Barnett Reservoir. The accident could have been much worse, if it were not for three very brave drivers.

Pulling a black Nissan Xterra out of the reservoir kept emergency crews pretty busy Thursday morning.

Just after 7 a.m., paramedics were called after a woman lost control of her SUV. 

"It was out of control when it was coming across the bridge, it went to the parking area to the West side of the bridge and went through the parking lot and down the rocks into the water," said Reservoir Patrol Chief Perry Waggener. 

Before crews made it to the scene, three people driving by -- one of them an off-duty Flowood firefighter -- jumped into the water to help rescue the woman. 

Deputy Chief Josh Swales with the Reservoir Fire Department said, "It's cold water and they braved it and didn't think twice about it, so you know we want to say thank you to them." 

Authorities say she didn't know how to swim, so she's very lucky to be alive. 

"It could have been catastrophic had she not exited her vehicle and had we not had people on the scene quickly and when I say quickly, I'm talking about the passerby," said Waggener. 

Chief Waggener says the accident is still under investigation. But with freezing temperatures last night, there's the possibility the driver lost control driving over a patch of ice. 

However, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District de-iced the bridge several times before the accident. 

"They put de-icer on this bridge and the lower road and it was done three times last night, the last time being at 6:05 this morning," Waggener said. 

While Thursday morning's accident could have been a lot worse, emergency crews are just thankful some good people were driving by. 

"This morning, the best thing about it was we had some great Good Samaritans that just jumped in that helped her get out of the water," said Swales. 

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