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Litchfield Woman Rescued From Water-Filled Ditch Tells Her Story

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Litchfield woman says she thought she was going to drown after her truck plunged off an icy road and into a drainage ditch Tuesday.

Debra Decker was driving on Highway 7 just west of Hutchinson about at around 5 p.m. when her truck landed on its roof — leaving Decker hanging upside down.

“Once the spin happened, I knew there was nothing I could do,” Decker said.

Within seconds of hitting the icy patch, she said she was upside down and underwater.

“I ended up gulping water,” Decker said. “I knew I was dying. I was preparing to be gone. I knew that drowning was maybe not one of the worst (ways to die).”

But then Decker saw a small air pocket.

“When I turned to look at my foot and found that patch of air, I knew that God was there and that people would be there, and then I heard the voice,” she said.

The voice was that of good Samaritan Brian Gubrud, who saw the accident in front of him. He jumped into the water to try and help. He says he was able to move the car slightly.

“I tipped it a little bit so she could get more air,” she said.

For 15 minutes, Gubrud stood in the freezing water and talked to her until firefighters arrived.

“To have the calmness around him, I don’t know who he is, but I thank him from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

The Hutchinson firefighters wore special wetsuits and swam into the truck.

“She only had probably like a foot, foot-and-a-half square area that she could breathe in,” firefighter Jeff McKay said.

Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to get her out. Now, Debra is overwhelmed by what they did to save her.

“They are God’s blessings on earth. I know I would not be here with the exception of their fast work,” Decker said.

Decker suffered no serious injuries.

Decker is a very religious woman and is convinced there was a divine role in all of this including this detail: An hour before the crash, she traded cars with her husband. Had she been driving her Prius, as opposed to her husband’s one ton Ford Truck, she and her husband are both convinced the outcome would have been different.

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