Cell Phone Call Saves Trapped Driver

If it weren't for cell service, the woman may not have been found until morning firefighters said


A woman called 911 after her car crashed and flipped upside down into a ravine off the side of the road near Escondido.

The woman, named Sydney Adger, told CHP that her car had rolled over and she was being held in by her seat belt along Del Dios Highway around 9:30 p.m. Monday night.

Her car hit a pole, or bump, and ended up in a ravine almost upside down.

Dispatchers kept Adger on the phone while firefighters tried to find the crash scene.

San Diego County sheriff’s deputies, California Highway Patrol officers, San Diego police, two fire engines, an ambulance and the sheriff's helicopter searched the area using sirens, lights, thermal imaging cameras that detect heat.

Adger could hear lights, sirens and footsteps but it took about 40 minutes for firefighters to find the wreck about 20 feet over the side in a ravine.

“You know, there was rocks falling and you could hear the dirt and I was like, `Oh, My God, this car is going to fall and it’s going to crush me,” Adger told NBCSanDiego in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

She said the dust and noise from the exploding airbag made her think her car was on fire.

She also said a 911 dispatcher kept her calm while search crews listened for her and looked for her car.

“Like, my lower half of the body was kind of under the car, [I told the dispatcher], `Please tell them to hurry,’” she recalled.

Eventually, the helicopter spotted her vehicle at the scene.

“We just couldn’t find her until someone stumbled across her,” said Fred Cox with the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department

“We knew she was in the general area because they could hear us on her cell phone but we couldn’t find her.”

She was extremely lucky because if it weren’t for the phone contact she probably wouldn’t have been found until the next morning, Cox said.

The car had rolled on its side trapping Adger underneath. She told emergency crews she had blacked out once and was hanging on by one arm while waiting to be rescued.

“She was in a rough spot,” firefighter Chris Danner said. “It was a little bit difficult but we’re trained to do it and we got her out smoothly.”

She thanked firefighters the entire way up the hill to the ambulance and cracked jokes, Danner said.

Adger was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. She broke her ankle and leg, and has a big bruise on her arm from where a firefighter pulled her to safety.

She’s scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday at Palomar Hospital and is expected to fully recover.

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