Marysville woman left in canal reunites with officer who saved her life

Over the weekend, Megan Russell was in a car that crashed into a canal. The driver ran away and she was left behind trying to find a way out. A man driving by who saw the accident and an officer who responded quickly got her out just in time.

Over the weekend, Megan Russell was a passenger in a vehicle that crashed in a canal on Clements Road.
 
"I remember waking up and the water at knee level," Russell said. "I was punching the passenger window trying to get it out and I couldn't so I just climbed to the trunk and tried to find the most air I could."
 
A suspected DUI driver, Travis Stanton of Yuba City, drove off the road and landed upside down, according to the California Highway Patrol. He was able to get himself out of the car but left Russell inside.
 
"I can see lights flipping over a couple of times and they disappeared," said Bryce Moody who called 911. "I immediately called for help and gave them the general area of where I saw it."
 
CHP officers responded to the scene and found the man jogging away from the car soaking wet. When they questioned him about any passengers, he said there were none.
 
But one of the officers heard a muffled gurgle coming from the vehicle and saved Russell who was inside.
 
"I went running to the car and made it down the water's edge and I could hear someone breathing which was weird because that car was under water," said CHP Officer Steven Klippel. "I yelled for other first responders and told them there's someone in the car."
 
Thursday evening, Russell was reunited with all the people who helped save her that early morning.
 
"It's definitely one for the story books," Klippel said. "It's kind of like the perfect outcome. You expect the worst but hope for the best and it definitely worked out. It's a proud moment to be able to give her a hug."
 
"I need to show people this life isn't wasted," Russell said. "It means something. I want my son to be proud of me. He'll see my mistakes, but I want him to see my accomplishments."
 
Russell said her goal now is to become a first responder. 

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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