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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Water rescue: Newspaper carrier trapped upside down in pickup

  • Mardell Gabel said she feels her husband, Tom, is lucky to be alive, and she credits his safety to a man who heard his calls for help.
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  • Mardell Gabel said she feels her husband, Tom, is lucky to be alive, and she credits his safety to a man who heard his calls for help.
    Tom, a carrier who delivers newspapers for The Shawnee News-Star, was rescued Thursday morning after his truck overturned and became submerged in a culvert full of water from the recent rains.
    Mardell said her husband was delivering newspapers in an area near 45th Street and Stevens Road when he hit some type of pothole or sinkhole with water.
    His truck flipped, she said, and ran off the side of road, landing upside down in that culvert.
    “I’m still having trouble grasping what happened,” she said Thursday evening. “He’s lucky he’s alive.”
    With his truck upside down and his cell phone lost in the water, which was rising up to his chin, he yelled for help. He was able to breathe, she said, but the water was cold.
    What happened next is what Mardell called a miracle.
    A resident in one of the nearby homes, who is reported to be partially deaf, had removed his hearing aid but somehow heard Tom’s faint calls for help.
    That man then alerted his neighbor, a state trooper, she said, and help was quick to arrive.
    REACT EMS paramedics and firefighters were among those who responded to the scene, with paramedics going into the water and pulling Tom out of the vehicle through a window, she said.
    Tom refused any medical treatment at the scene. Mardell said paramedics brought him home and they later went to a hospital in Midwest City to have Tom checked out after the ordeal. He returned home and was resting Thursday evening.
    Mardell said she’s so grateful to all those who helped, especially the man who heard her husband calling for help.
    “I’m so grateful to him,” she said. “By the grace of God, he was able to hear him and call for help.”
    Mardell said her husband told her he thought he was gong to die, but she said he’s a survivor.
    “We are blessed he is here,” she said.
     
     
     
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