December 30, 2015 Fayette County, Al. Bays Lake Road around 6 p.m. Monday 18 year old Peyton Cupit was crossing a spillway she had used many times before as a shortcut in her vehicle to meet up with friends. But she didn’t know how deep the water could get, until it was too late.
As Culpit was crossing the spillway in the dark she realized she was losing control of her vehicle she told WNCN news “As soon as I went through it like my car just started sliding. And I pulled my emergency brake and I pressed on my brakes as hard as I could and it just kept going,”
She had lost control of the vehicle. It had struck some boulders and drifted to the middle of the creek where it became lodged on a log in the middle of the creek. She immediately thought that she had to escape the vehicle “As soon as I hit those rocks I knew I had to get out of this car or I’m either going to drown in here or I’m going to die. It’s going to flip over. So I just got out of the car as quick as I could and without a split second I couldn’t even think the current took me. I went through all those rocks and I hit all those limbs and I couldn’t breathe I just thought I was going to drown,” said Cupit. “I just started catching my breath and I just started praying to God to please just give me something to hold on to,” said Cupit.
Cupit was ableto grab a hold of a tree but was unable to pull herself to safety from there. She stayed there for about an hour until she was seen by anyone.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Johnson says he and his partner Corporal Roger Morrison were among the first persons to arrive on the scene to rescue Culpit.
Deputy Johnson took a precautionary measure of tying himself down and entered the freezing fast moving water to rescue the girl himself while other Officers stood by the bank ready to pull him to safety by his tether. Still the cold water was enough to give the Deputy pause and wonder if he would make it out alive himself as Cupit climbed on his back and he brought her to safety.
“I just know I was freezing when I got out, but that wasn’t that’s not what was on my mind whenever I went in. All I saw was someone’s daughter that needed, needed help so that was just what we did.” “It was bad. I ended up falling three or four times and had it not been for the guys that were holding the rope that I was tied off with I would have been gone,”
Cupit was very thankful and understood the danger that she was in stating “I just want to thank Kevin Johnson and everybody who risked their lives to save mine. And the whole community coming together just to try to save me,”
Johnson doesn’t think he was a hero though he says: “I was just the first one that got my equipment off. Now had my partner been a little faster than me, he would have been the one that went in and got her,” He continued “I honestly don’t think any of us are heroes. We, we put on our these badges, and these fire uniforms, EMS, all of us you know we put on our uniforms with the intentions of helping people and making this county a better place,”