Lifestyle & Human Interest

Mom's Natural Instincts Kick In as Car Crashes into Pond and Floods with Icy Water


What do you think the human body is capable of doing? I’m not talking about your usual functions such as breathing, walking and thinking.

I mean extraordinary feats of strength and agility. But let’s not consider the things that professional athletes and the genetically gifted can accomplish.

Rather, let’s think about everyday, ordinary folks like you and me. Are we able to execute amazing physical acts?

The case of one Canadian woman would certainly seem to say, “Yes!” According to CTV News, Ashley Holland was driving with her young daughter Macy on Jan. 20.

The pair were heading to a child’s birthday party when their car suddenly skidded across black ice.

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Then it flipped down an embankment and out onto a frozen pond. As the vehicle landed on its roof, the ice below broke — as did the car’s windows.

The New York Post reported that Holland remembered her daughter screaming, “Mom, I’m going to die.” But Holland wasn’t going to let the dark waters claim her life or that of her daughter without a fight.

As the car began to sink into the frigid pond, she clawed free of her seatbelt, pushed herself out through the broken window, and began to try to open the rear door to get to her daughter. She found it harder than she imagined.

“I finally did get it open, but I had slush and ice all over my hands and everywhere and my hand slipped and the door slammed shut,” Holland said. “So I’m freaking out trying to think, what do I do?”

So she did something only a mother would. She dove back into the car and began trying to free Macy.

Eventually, Holland managed to unbuckle the bottom of her child’s car seat while Macy got the top free. Then she hauled her from the rapidly submerging death trap.

“I just grabbed her and pulled her out and I tried to keep her above the water,” she said. “I didn’t want her to be hypothermic.

“So from the waist down she was soaked, but I mean her hair didn’t even get wet and I don’t know how I did it.” First responders were not even sure how Holland managed the rescue, freeing her daughter from the wreck and then swimming some 25 feet to safety.

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Capt. Ryan Richard of the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department, who just happened to be passing by, quickly alerted other firefighters of the accident. They soon wrapped the woman and girl in warm uniforms.

Amazingly, neither showed signs of hypothermia.

“In my 26 years in the fire service, I’ll be honest, normally these are fatalities,” Richard said. “I’m not a big spiritual person, but there was definitely somebody with them yesterday.”

For her part, Holland credits maternal instinct for her strength, saying, “When something like that happens, it’s like your parental instincts just kick in, right? And you do what you need to do to get your child to safety.

‘It was a miracle. You see stories like that and they don’t make it, so I don’t know how we did it but I’m so thankful.’

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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