IT PLAYS out like a nail-biting scene from a Hollywood disaster movie, but the film of an overturned pick-up trapped in flood water with two young children aboard is real.
Phone footage shows the moment two children were pulled alive from an overturned 4×4 that was caught in floods after a tornado hit the area of Myrtle Spring, Texas, on April 29.
The family of Phillip Ocheltree, a motorman on drilling rigs, had fled their home to escape the floods. As they were driving, the force of the water caused their Chevrolet Silverado to hydroplane off the wet road and flipped it into a ditch, leaving it partially submerged.
Other drivers rushed to help, as the father of the children struggled to open the car’s back doors, which were forced shut by the fast-moving, waist-deep water. Using tools, their bare hands and brute force, they battled against time to prise open the doors and reach the children inside.
Once the children were freed and passed to safety, bystanders helped to resuscitate them at the roadside.
Ocheltree’s baby son, Marshal, made a speedy recovery, but his two-year-old daughter, Addy, was at first in a critical condition. However, within days she also made a full recovery and the family were able to return home.
Ocheltree thanked those who came to his family’s rescue, saying, “I can’t thank you all enough who came into the water and saved my children your a blessing.”
The video footage of the terrifying scene was captured by Tom Mitchell, a passing driver. As the children were brought to safety, he helped resuscitate them.
The family have had messages of support from around the world on social media, and donations towards medical bills: more than $11,000 to date.