Off-Duty Miss. FF Saves Teen From Car in Pool

RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. --

A 16-year-old driver lost control of her car Wednesday morning and crashed into her neighbor's backyard pool, police said.

The crash happened at about 6 a.m. near the corner of Old Fannin Road and River Chase Drive, the Rankin County sheriff said.

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The homeowner, Janell Verucchi, said she was drinking coffee on her back porch when she saw headlights coming at her house.

"When she hit all this fence, which came flying toward me, and the car was right behind it," Verucchi said.

Verucchi said it appeared that the girl was trying to turn into the subdivision and lost control, hit a tree and fence and then went airborne into the pool.

"I could hear people screaming. I called my neighbor next door but before he was able to get here, a fireman who was on his way to work stopped and he stood up on the car. He was able to get her out," Verucchi said.

Verucchi said the driver was on the phone with her sister when she crashed.

"I asked her if she was OK, but she wasn't talking. She was very shook up, very scared," Verucchi said.

The teenager was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to be checked out, but didn't appear to have any serious injuries, the sheriff said.

Rankin County emergency officials said that because of the oil from the car, Verucchi will have to hire professionals to drain and clean the pool.

County Supervisor Wood Brown said they are in the beginning stages of four-laning Old Fannin Road, but neighbors expressed fear that it will only make the road more dangerous and more susceptible to accidents.

"I don't think they should four-lane the road because that's jsut going to entice people to drive faster and swerve around others who are turning," a resident said.

Brown, however, noted that the new road will have a curb to make it safer for the residents.

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