Right place, right time: Deputy watches car slide into ditch, rescues driver

(Provided Photo/Allen County Sheriff’s Office)

ALLEN CO., Ind. (WANE) One woman is thanking an Allen County Sheriff’s deputy after he rescued her from her SUV in frigid water over the weekend.

The slide off on Saturday was among dozens over the weekend, stretching officers pretty thin. On that morning, Officer Chris Amstutz, a veteran of three years, said he was in the right place at the right time. However, Angelica Yanez said it meant more than that.

Officer Amstutz was pulled over on the side of Yohne Road Saturday morning doing paperwork for another slide off.

Meanwhile, Amstutz was on her way to her family’s restaurant, a path she always takes.

“I just happened to look up, looked down the road, saw two vehicles coming at me. I saw the rear vehicle lose control, start to slide, then I saw it flip into the ditch,” Amstutz said.

“I realized that it was filling up with water. Water was coming up to my chest and I was very scared,” Yanez said. “Thinking like now, I’m here by myself so then when I started looking all over the place I realized that the vehicle was upside down.”

The officer immediately jumped into the water and tried to get inside. However the doors were locked and the windows were closed.

“Somebody was knocking and I started yelling ‘help, I’m here, I’m here,’” Yanez said.

Officer Amstutz went back to his car to get a tool to smash the rear window.

“Got her into my car, in the warmth until the ambulance could get there,” Amstutz said.

It was one of dozens of slide offs last weekend.

“We were stretched pretty thin as far as working other crashes that day. So, it could have been at least 20 minutes or move until somebody got here at least,” Amstutz said.

The wife and mother of six, breast cancer survivor and nursing home director believes God was with her.

“I definitely think that God gave me another opportunity. He still has something for me but maybe I don’t know what.”

Yanez reached out to the officer to thank him and wants to thank the woman passing by and stopped and a paramedic named Rachel.

“I’m so glad that there’s still people with those big hearts and thank you so much everyone.”

Yanez said although the car was upside down, she was sitting right side up, a mystery to her that she believes was only made possible by God.

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