Economy

Driver recalls terrifying moment mudflow sweeps away his vehicle after evacuating home

Driver recalls terrifying moment mudflow sweeps away his vehicle after evacuating home”

A driver who rode a wave of muddy water down a twisting street in his auto during a Southern California flood says he is lucky to be alive.

"I just got pushed down the side of a hill by a wall of water and mud", Desionne Franklin said in an Instagram video after Tuesday's terrifying ride. "Rocks flowing, mud flowing ...everywhere, barely made it out".

A member of the Burbank Firefighters Local 778 filmed the footage of the vehicle careening down a street and posted the footage on the group's Instagram page.

When the storm came Tuesday, he and his girlfriend realized they needed to evacuate their friend's home on Country Club Drive in Burbank immediately. A fire there a year ago has left the steep hills and canyons bare of brush that would help stabilize the soil.

"I could hear a rumbling and the rain was coming down hard and I said 'we gotta go now".

The video is truly horrifying to watch, and it's no wonder the driver thought he was going to die - but he made it out, safe and sound.

Dallas native Desionne Franklin said he'd never experienced anything like the deluge that hit the home where he is staying in Burbank.

Firefighters from Burbank, in neighboring Los Angeles County, shared footage with the CBS television affiliate in Sacramento Thursday showing what appears to be a gray Toyota Prius navigating - or simply being carried - downhill amid a river of muddy water, rocks and debris.

The pair then drove to the Burbank library to survey the damage to Franklin's auto, which he began leasing about seven months ago to drive for ride-hailing apps such as Lyft and Uber.

Franklin couldn't control the brakes or the steering.

Then a wave of water crashed into the back of the auto. "I told my girlfriend, 'Hey, I don't know what's happening, but we've got to get ready to go'". "We've got to get out of here!"

"I was completely at the mercy of the flow of the water."

The video shows the auto sliding through the mudslide and trying to evade the dangers.

Franklin says his girlfriend was screaming and he lost all control of the vehicle for 30 seconds as it slewed downhill on the wave.

Other cars were not so lucky.

"One of the cars looked like a wadded up piece of foil paper", he said.

Desionne Franklin shared a video of the auto on his own Instagram page to show how the mud has nearly reached the windows of the vehicle.

"Man, look at California", he said in the video.

Remarkably, nobody was hurt in the flooding.

Franklin says the Prius only had a few scratches after getting him through hell and high water.



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