The two escaped with no injuries after climbing out the windows of a sinking truck.
On their way back to Palm Coast after delivering about $5,000 worth of supplies to those affected by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, Ashley Evensen and Nick Summerlin faced something they never dreamed of.
While they were driving down a road in Sampson County in what they thought was just a foot or two of water, the front left tire of Summerlin’s white 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 dropped down, submerging the entire hood of the truck. In less than a minute, the two found themselves climbing out of the windows of the truck — grabbing phones, wallets and a drone — as it sank into the murky water.
“We jumped in the bed of the truck, decided what we were going to do,” Summerlin said. “The truck at this point is completely under the water. We’re standing in the last two feet that had no water in it, and we jumped off the truck, swam back about 50 yards to the dry land, and within 30, 40 seconds, the whole truck was gone.”
Evensen added that they both remained calm in what could have been a very chaotic situation.
“The only way I could describe it was slow motion happening fast; it was the weirdest feeling,” she said.
The two started walking for the next hour as they contacted police and had their phones pinged to help officials locate them.
“We’re barefoot, soaking wet, walking down this road that we have no idea where it goes to,” Evensen said.
After police found them, they were transported to the nearest Red Cross where they waited for Summerlin’s father, the pastor of New Way Church in Palm Coast, to pick them up about nine to 10 hours later, as the drive was filled with detours.
As staff members of New Way Church, Evensen and Summerlin had volunteered to make the drive up to a partner church in North Carolina on Friday, Sept. 21, to deliver food, chainsaws, tarps and other supplies that their Palm Coast church had collected for those affected by Hurricane Florence.
Although Summerlin’s truck was deemed a total loss from the incident, each said they feel blessed to have made it out without injury.
“It really was a total God thing,” Evensen said.