January 26, 2016 Pelahatchi, Mississippi, The creek that runs near the Leesburg Road was running very high from all the rain that was still coming down as Kristy Irby and her two-year-old daughter Alley drove on it.As Kristy spoke to her husband on the phone a deer ran across the road and she braked to avoid hitting the animal and lost control of her vehicle. It slid into the rapid water and immediately started filling with water as it was being taken away.
After telling her husband that they had ended up in the water she recalled thinking that she had to get her daughter and herself out of the car as quick as she could and get to safety.
“I was trying to bust out the windows in the car, and I couldn’t bust them for anything. I was kicking and punching, and I was praying and begging God, ‘You’re the only one who can save us,'” she was reported as saying.
The drivers window did open slightly miraculously by itself she asserted and said “I’ve got about an inch of air and I have one leg out of the window and I say, ‘Alley, you’ve got to hold your breath, baby. We’re going to have to swim, I see her face and she’s so scared, and I’m thinking, ‘God, you’ve got to do something,’ and the current is pulling us.”
A passerby had seen the Irby’s vehicle in the water and called 911 then remained near the spot where the car had gone off the road waiting for rescuers to arrive.
Officer Shane Gibson arrived on the scene and stated that when he got to the bank of the creek he could see the vehicle partially submerged and could hear the screams for help so he jumped in the water.
It wasn’t until he reached the vehicle that he realized that the screams were not coming from inside the vehicle itself. “I didn’t think anything about it. It sounds stupid, but when you hear a woman screaming that they’re drowning and you’re looking at a car in the water, you’re not thinking about anything, you’re going in,”
Luckily when Kristy had been able to get herself and the baby from the vehicle they were taken downstream and landed against a tree. She was able to wrap her legs around it. But as she tried to grab onto limbs they kept breaking. All she could do was pray and hold onto her daughter and wait for rescue.
That is where Officer Gibson finally saw them. He pushed himself away from the ever sinking vehicle and tried swimming with the current toward the mother and child.
Officer Gibson was able to take the baby out of the water first and bring her to safety then he went back to help get the mother out of the water as well. He was assisted by Officer Willie Roberson.