Swept away motorist recovering

Published 2:13 am Saturday, December 19, 2009

By By Adam Prestridge
There were many heroes last Monday night in the rescue of four people from flooded Deere Creek Road after heavy rains caused Brushy Creek to overflow sending raging floodwaters over the roadway.
There were the more than 20 rescue workers from four fire departments, police officers and paramedics. Then there was 45-year-old Atmore resident Mike Allen who used his personal Jet Ski to pull four victims from the water.
For Karrie Rolin, the driver of the Chevrolet Lumina that was submerged by the floodwaters, there was only one “guardian angel” though.
Initially rescuers at the scene thought there was more than one vehicle swept away from the floodwaters and up to eight victims fighting for their lives in the cold water. Rolin, who said she was the only one in the vehicle that night, explained the events of the frightening evening Friday morning.
Rolin said that she had just traveled down the road on her way in from town with her boyfriend, Gwinn McGhee, who is also Jeremy’s cousin, a few minutes prior to being submerged.
Rolin said that when her vehicle first submerged and started filling up with water, she used a cell phone to call for help. That’s when Jeremy McGhee and his brother, Matt, became involved.
The brothers arrived on the scene “just in time” Rolin said as the car was almost completely underwater.
The brothers formed a chain, hand-in-hand, in hopes of being able to reach Rolin to no avail. That’s when Jeremy McGhee said he turned to his younger brother and said he was going in.
When the two made it to Rolin, she said that she was about to drown.
Rolin said Jeremy McGhee then pulled her to a tree so she could hold on until help arrived. A fourth victim, Ashleigh Geck, later jumped in to the three’s aid, but also became stranded. Rolin said Jeremy McGhee then held both girls up out of the water until they were pulled to safety by Allen.
Jeremy McGhee said he would do it again if he had to.
All four were treated and released from Atmore Community Hospital for hypothermia the next day.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox