Mother talks about losing her 2-year-old son after driving into floodwaters

Eric Long Jr. (Photo: Carter Family)
Child drowns in floodwaters
Toddler drowns in floodwaters
Child drowns in floodwaters
Wabash C. High Water

WABASH COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) — A mother is sharing her grief on losing her two-year-old son after driving into floodwaters.

It happened Thursday afternoon in Wabash County.

Anthonitte Carter was driving with her son, Eric Long Jr., along a road near Mississinewa Lake.

The Indianapolis mother was in the process of moving to Wabash County.

Flooded road in Wabash County. (WTHR Staff)

As they drove down a country road, police say they passed signs warning that the road could flood.

"For whatever reason she did not see those signs," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum.

A moment later, their car went into the floodwaters and was swept off the road.

"I never felt pain like this. I went through birthing and labor and this is a different type of pain and it's never going to go away," Carter said.

She managed to free herself and then the mother, who can't swim, tried to reach her son.

Eric Long Jr. (Provided by family)

"The car just went down instantly and I didn't know what to do and I started panicking. The water just started filling up the car so fast and I didn't know what to do and the only window that was down was mine so I climbed out through it and I tried to go around to try and open his door. I tried to break the door. I tried to break the window open. I tried to open the door. I tried everything I could to get him out," Carter said.

She began screaming for help and a person driving up heard her.

"He couldn't really do anything so he just called 911 and he told me to hang on," Carter said.

Rescue crews rushed to help and were able to get Carter out.

"I didn't want to leave in the ambulance because I just wanted to be with my baby," Carter said.

A time later, they were able to pull the car out of eight feet of water and recover Eric's body.

"I can't sleep without seeing it," Carter said.

"He was our child. He was every bit of our child and he's not supposed to be gone," said Eric Long Sr., the boy's father.

The family has a GoFundMe site to help with funeral expenses if you would like to donate.

If you drive into floodwaters

If you do find yourself stranded in your vehicle in floodwaters, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has some basic safety tips to remember.

  1. Remove your seatbelt.
  2. Remove the seatbelts of all occupants starting oldest to youngest.
  3. Roll down windows.
  4. Climb onto roof of the vehicle.
  5. Call 911 from the vehicle roof
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