Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Charlene de Herrera Miraculously Saved From Drowning

On Sunday, August 27, 2006, a 35 year old woman, Charlene de Herrera was rescued from flash floods in Colorado and the incident was caught on tape. Pueblo city in Colorado faced a severe thunderstorm with hail and winds blowing 60 to 80 mile per hour. The storm pored three inches of rain within two hours. The drainage systems failed and caused flooding of drains. There was an underpass on Pueblo street which was flooded like a lake.

Charlene de Herrera drowning in flood water in her SUV

The SUV of Charlene de Herrera slipping into abyss

Charlene was returning home from her workplace at Wendy's (a fast food restaurant) in her red SUV when she was trapped in the flood waters on Pueblo street. The floodwater carried the SUV down the road in 10 feet of water. She freaked out and panicked to such an extend that she could not even get off from her seat. She was trapped inside the vehicle with all four windows closed and did not knew swimming. Dr. Rocky Khosla, who was stopped by the high waters was the first to swim out to help her in the dangerously rising waters. He picked up a stick from the muddy water ans started beating the window furiously but could not break the windshield or windows. Terrified bystanders witnessing the horrific scene dialed 911, as her car slipped into the abyss.

Helpless Charlene de Herrera trapped in her SUV with all windows closed

A few daring men tried to help Charlene but their endeavors were futile. In a desperate attempt to save her, Howard Absetz, a 43-year-old unemployed store manager somehow managed to reach her through the front window of the SUV which was almost fully submerged. Absetz said that he was socked to feel her grasp his hand. He became confident that he could save her after she grasped his hand the second time even more firmly. He grabbed her around the back of the neck and hair was able to pull her out of the water through the window of the driver's door. She came out of her driving seat to the surface and was rescued from the submerged SUV. Paramedics and firefighters arrive on the spot and extend a ladder for Charlene and her rescuers to move out of the water.

One of the rescuers trying to help Charlene de Herrera in rising waters

The strange part of the story is that Charlene was driving the SUV with all four windows up. The windows were still up when she was trapped in the flood, and even when the vehicle was being pulled out from the water. It is still a mystery to those involved in the rescue operation and many others as to how the rescuer reached Charlene and grasped her hand when all windows of the SUV were up! When the SUV was towed out of the water, all four windows were intact and still closed. All the doors were also closed. It is still unclear how Charlene managed to escape. Neither Charlene nor her rescuer Absetz, has an explanation to the mysterious events that happened on that fateful day.

Episode #72 of Mythbusters focused on getting out of an underwater car. They discovered that you cannot break a window submerged only in 2 feet of water without a window breaking hammer. The window cannot be rolled down under water. You cannot roll the window down under water. The pressure of the window glass against the frame is so high that the gear is practically immoveable and power windows also cannot overcome the pressure differential. The doors can be opened only after the vehicle is fully filled with water.

Rescuers trying to help Charlene de Herrera from drowning

Some believe it to be a divine intervention while others believe it to be something supernatural. Charlene may have had angels on her side. There was something which cannot be explained.

Watch the actual video of Charlene de Herrera miraculously rescued from SUV on YouTube:

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