Updated: Friday, 28 Dec 2012, 1:11 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 27 Dec 2012, 12:31 PM EST
FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) - It was a terrifying ride home for a Hamilton County woman and her five-year-old daughter Thursday after the family SUV went off the road and into an old strip pit filled with water.
43-year-old Carrie Mattingly talked to 24-Hour News 8 about the accident that could have killed her and her daughter.
A Good Samaritan risked his own life to save Carrie and her daughter Ava.
The problem began on 116th Street near Hoosier Road as the two were heading home from a workout center. The ride home ended in an old strip mine filled with deep water.
Carrie said it was slush in the middle of 116th Street that began the scary turn of events.
She hit a slippery patch of the slush and somehow lost control of the SUV she was driving.
"Then the next thing I know we're bumping and we're crashing through a white fence. We finally come to a stop, and I was so grateful that we stopped. Then I realized we were in water," she said.
Remembering a television show she had seen, she knew what to do.
"The first thing I did once I realized we were in water was to roll my windows down. Then I told my five-year-old daughter Ava in the backseat to quickly unbuckle before we lost power basically," she said.
With the water at waist level, she said it was time to get out through the window.
"At that time it was very scary because the weight of us getting out of the car shifted the car a little bit. And for a brief second I thought that we were pinned under the car somehow. I don't know how. We were both underwater.”
She fought to get to the surface.
"And so we were able to come back up thank God. And I just kept trying to hold her above water. But the water was so cold it was literally paralyzing me. I could barely move," she said.
It was then that a Good Samaritan jumped in.
"He got very close to me. Close enough that I could push my daughter over to him and she was able to climb on his back," she said.
The man got daughter Ava out. Carrie made it to shore and was pulled out by others who had stopped to help. Neither she nor her daughter was badly hurt.
"You just kick into a mode that you don't even know that exists within you," she said.
The two were taken to a hospital, were warmed up and released. They are physically fine, but are still processing exactly what happened.
The Good Samaritan, who jumped into the ice cold water to rescue Ava is a friend of Carrie's husband.
Neither knew it at the time.
Carrie says she was not on the phone with her husband when the accident happened.
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