Wreck plunges 2 into canal
Woman, infant submerged in water
by Adelina Shee Staff writer
LUMBERTON — A Pembroke woman and her infant grandchild are hospitalized after an accident Thursday that left both of them submerged underwater in a canal, according to Maj. Tommy Barnes of the Lumberton Police Department.
Myrna Jean Gist, 52, of 1023 Sunrise Road, was driving a 1995 Mercedes-Benz passenger car with 4-month-old Breslyn Taylor Thomas, of 1310 Furman Drive, Lumberton, on Linkhaw Road when the single-car accident occurred at 11:18 a.m. near the Lumberton Chevrolet dealership.
According to Barnes, the vehicle left the road to the right, plunged into the canal and trapped Gist and Thomas in 2 feet of water.
“The canal was the perfect width for the vehicle to fall into,” Barnes said. “… They were in there at least 15 minutes if not longer.”
Barnes said water entered the vehicle through a sun roof that broke during the accident.
Barnes said both victims were unconscious when rescue personnel, but were resuscitated with CPR.
“At this time, both of them are alive,” Barnes said. “They were able to get both of them back, which was a miracle really from what I saw.”
Gist was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center before being transferred to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and Thomas was transferred to Duke Medical Center in Durham.
Barnes said the cause of the accident is unclear. There was an estimated $7,000 worth of damage done to the vehicle.
Barnes said Gist was not wearing a seat belt and Thomas was in a safety seat, but was not properly restrained.
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