WIGGINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A Greeley woman is alive thanks to a little luck and the quick thinking of a Colorado farmer.
On Sunday night Theresa Bell’s Chevy Impala crashed into an irrigation canal off County Road 4 in Morgan County near Wiggins and landed upside down. The car clipped a guard rail and its roof was crushed in the impact.
Bell, 39, then spent 15 hours stuck in the car, which was partially submerged in the icy water, until farmer John Jones spotted her car.
At about 10 a.m. on Monday morning Jones was driving his truck nearby.
“I saw the car upside down in the ditch,” he told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
Jones leapt from his truck and headed to the water.
“I just yelled ‘Is there anybody in there?’ and I heard this muffled cry for help and I knew somebody was alive and in the car.”
Jones says his thoughts were racing as he called 911.
“They’re hurt, they’ve got to be cold. I didn’t know how many was in there. I really couldn’t hear what she was saying.”
When authorities arrived, Jones raced to his shed a mile away and grabbed his backhoe. He eventually used it to pull the car from the ditch.
Wiggins firefighters cut Bell out of the car and she was flown to the hospital. Jones said she looked very cold and wet.
Sheriff Jim Crone told CBS4 he has no doubt Jones saved the women’s life.
“I think she’s a very lucky lady to still be alive,” Crone said.
Bell is now being treated for hypothermia. As a precaution she spent Monday night in the hospital, but she’s expected to be okay. That comes as a great relief to Jones, who is something of a reluctant hero.
“Who knows how long it would have taken before anyone else would have noticed her her?” Jones said.
Officials with the Colorado State Patrol says Bell will likely be cited for careless driving. She was wearing seat belt at the time of the crash.