ISP instructs drivers how to escape watery crash - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

ISP instructs drivers how to escape watery crash

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While this car wasn't submerged, police say it's important to get out quick if your car begins sinking. While this car wasn't submerged, police say it's important to get out quick if your car begins sinking.
Zach Farrer of Pendleton demonstrates escaping a sinking vehicle in an ISP video. Zach Farrer of Pendleton demonstrates escaping a sinking vehicle in an ISP video.
INDIANAPOLIS -

It is fast, furious and may be fatal - high water on roads and in ditches very close to roads.

Sunday night, 19-year-old Ball State student Blake Taylor died in a crash in Grant County. Police say he hydroplaned and flipped into a water-filled ditch.

With those kinds of accidents in mind, Indiana State Police diver Robert May produced a video on escaping a car sinking in water.

"You have to escape as soon as you can, as soon as that car hits the water," May said.

A simulation shows a car full of officers getting out of the car's windows and onto the car's roof. They had over two minutes before the convertible sank. May says cars often float for more than 10 minutes.

Don't wait for rescuers, police say, get out right away on your own through the windows. Don't open the car doors, the car will just sink faster.

He says others who advise staying in the car until it's almost full of water, then open the doors, are just wrong.

"It becomes your coffin. You cannot let that car fill with water," May said.

Get out of the car first, he says, then call for help.

"You can not sit here (in the car) and call 911. You will drown," May said.

Sure, trained troopers can get out of the car. But how about 16-year-old Zach Farrer of Pendleton?

Detective May told him what to do and he did it in 13 seconds - opened the window, sat on the window ledge and hoisted himself up onto the roof. Ten seconds on the second try.

By the way, experts say your power windows will continue to work underwater. Keep the key turned on.

"I could do it (in a real-life crisis)," Zach said. "Pretty simple."

If you can't open your window, there are small spring-loaded devices you can buy for a key chain. Even underwater, when you press the button, a small cylinder shatters the glass. All but the windshield.

Only when you're safely on top of the car should you phone 911.

If you have children in the back seat pull them into the front and get them out your window to the top of the car. Then you get out.

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