Woman survives 13 hours in canal


10/09/03
By MICHELLE L. START
Daily Commercial Staff Writer
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WILDWOOD

A South Florida woman has a trucker to thank for her life. JoAnn Davis, 46, of Sunrise spent nearly 13 hours submerged in a canal on Florida’s Turnpike before a wrecker truck stopped to check out the overturned Toyota Corolla.

Apparently several truckers had noticed the overturned vehicle about a quarter mile south of Interstate 75 and talked about it on their radios when one of the drivers decided to call 911.

Davis, who had been traveling northbound on the Florida turnpike around 7:15 or 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, had drifted to the right of the road and attempted to correct the car.

Police said when she hit the shoulder of the road, her 1994 Toyota Corolla flipped into the canal, where she remained submerged for nearly 13 hours.

At 8:10 a.m., paramedics with Lake-Sumter EMS received a call about the overturned car. When they arrived, they found Davis inside and unharmed.

Officials said while much of her body was submerged, she still had room to breathe, but couldn’t escape the car.

They opened the door for her and she crawled out.

Davis was taken to Leesburg Regional Medical Center where she was treated for exposure.