Tenmile woman is OK after crashing into a river

Tenmile woman is OK after crashing into a river »Play Video
A Tenmile woman is lucky to be alive, after a harrowing experience
Wednesday afternoon that left her car submerged in the North Umpqua River.

Donnis Wilder says she was coming down the North Umpqua Highway near Dry Creek, when she swerved to miss a car in her lane, and went over the embankment into the river.

She was uninjured, but knew she had to get out before it sank.

"My car completely turned around in the road, and there was a big tree
there I thought I was going to hit to keep from going into the river. I
missed the tree and I knew I was going into the river then. I just kept
thinking, "I'm going into the river," and when I hit the water, first thing I
thought was, I'm alright, I'm OK. I gotta get out of my car."

After watching a TV show on water crashes, she knew she had to get out before the car sank.

"I looked over and the water was about a third of the way up the window on the car, so I couldn't get the door open. The windows were electric, they wouldn't open, so I just was floating by then, and I turned and kicked the window with both feet."

The car was filling up so fast, she had to take a quick breath before
she tried to climb out.

"So I took my last breath, got a little bit of water in with it. I wanted to cough, but I knew I couldn't, so I kicked it twice more and it came
out."

It was so deep, she didn't know if she was going to make it to the
surface.

"Then I didn't know if I'd taken enough breath to reach the surface, it was so far up there. When I looked up there, I could see the
light shining on the surface, so I just got up to the surface and then
started to swim to the shore."

Miraculously, she made it, and without any significant injuries.

Now, because her insurance won't cover the crash, she needs to find the other car involved.

"All I know is that it was a dark car, it was a smaller car, it was not
a big car."

If anyone saw a car matching that description around 4:00 Wednesday afternoon, Wilder is hoping you'll call the Oregon State Police.

She is also responsible for getting the 2002 Nissan Sentra out of the
river, and that won't be cheap either.

Wilder doesn't have a car to get to work, and without finding the other
vehicle that was involved, she says she's pretty much stuck with the whole bill.

The crash happened in the same spot where two college students were killed in November of last year, when their vehicle missed the corner and landed in the river.