PERRY, Okla. (KFOR) – A Perry woman is recovering in the hospital after her car crashed into an icy creek, leaving her stranded in subzero temperatures. Dash cam footage shows a pair of OHP troopers trekking up a snowy embankment with the woman on their backs.
Two Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers rushed to the scene on Highway 86 in Payne County Monday morning.
According to her family, Debbie Sadler was driving to work when she lost control on the snow-packed roads. Her sedan dove headfirst into the icy creek, cracking the ice.
“I think there were angels around her vehicle and also the troopers were there,” Debbie’s daughter-in-law Steffanie Sadler said.
Debbie was able to call 9-1-1 herself while she was surrounded by the thick ice. OHP trooper Derek Fry rushed through the snowy conditions to get to her.
“You couldn’t see her very well if you weren’t looking down on the road,” Fry said. “I was thinking by the grace of God she didn’t flip her car over.”
Debbie was trapped in the front seat. She told the troopers she was unable to move her legs.
Without hesitation, Trooper Fry and Lt. Ty Owen jumped shin deep into the frigid water. The two men told Debbie to exit through the driver’s side window and grab ahold of their necks.
“She was able to put her left arm around my head, and then, I just grabbed her,” Fry said.
The two hoisted her out to safety, making sure to keep her above the water. Debbie was dry the whole time, but the below-zero temperatures were starting to take a toll.
The wind chill Monday morning was -25 degrees.
“She didn’t have much use of her hands by then,” Fry said.
Fry tells KFOR he tied a tow rope from the bumper of his vehicle for stability. He then gave Debbie a piggy-back ride up the embankment. Lt. Owen was behind them both for support, taking it step by icy step.
“The whole situation was just extremely lucky,” Steffanie Sadler said.
Debbie’s family drove her to the hospital. She’s now recovering at Integris Baptist from a broken leg and knee replacement surgery. Her family tells KFOR they are counting their blessings Debbie’s humble heroes were there to help.
“God was watching over her,” Fry said.
“She is a grandma to six grandkids,” Sadler said. “She has four kids. She’s on a fixed income. We are so thankful they saved Debbie. Thank you!”
Both troopers are not injured.
Debbie’s family tells KFOR she will stay in the hospital for future rehab.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to give donations to the family.