GARVIN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A woman is recovering after a miraculous rescue following torrential flooding in Oklahoma on Wednesday morning.
“I just prayed to God and asked Him to please just get me out of this,” said Rebecca Collins. “And He did.”
Collins was driving to work in Garvin County at about 5 a.m. amid the torrential downpour that was flooding the area. She did not see that the bridge she used every day had completely washed away.
“The road was there and then it wasn’t there,” Collins said. “I went straight down about 15 feet.”
Staring straight down and bracing for impact, Collins somehow survived the crash. Then water began flooding the car.
“I was real scared,” Collins said, still shaking from the ordeal and wiping away tears.
Panicked, Collins kicked out the window and climbed free. The force of the water immediately pushed her down the stream, so she clung to a nearby rock in the pitch black of the early morning.
She called for help the best way she knew how.
“I can’t sing or dance or anything, but I can whistle,” she said, “and I whistled as loud as I could.”
Exhausted, alone and desperate, it was 30 minutes before Collins saw another sign of life.
“I knew I was out in the middle of nowhere and nobody was going to hear me,” Collins said, “but then when I saw the car lights, I was already really tired, so I just kept whistling, and he heard me.”
Brandon McCaskill, a line worker with the Rural Electric Cooperative, was out fixing outages and happened upon the fallen bridge, braking in time before it took his truck, too.
“If I wouldn’t have rolled the window down to turn around, I would never have known she was in there,” McCaskill said.
But he heard the whistle, looked over the edge and spotted the car and the woman fighting to stay above the floodwaters.
“I just went into ‘I-need-to-do-something’ mode,” McCaskill said. “Myself, I was kind of panicking, too.”
But McCaskill had the wherewithal to call for help over his radio before tossing her a line.
“She caught it somehow, luckily,” he said.
Collins wrapped the cord around her waist but her legs were too fatigued to work.
“He pulled all my weight up and rescued me out of the hole,” Collins said.
As of Wednesday night, the car was still crashed on the wreckage of the bridge as the waters receded.
Collins’ wallet, her phone and her vehicle, which she had for only two days, were all gone. But she escaped with her life thanks to Brandon.
“I just want to say thank you to Brandon. He saved my life,” she said. “I know God sent Brandon. He did.”