DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Wade Burnette can't remember much about his awful Sunday night ordeal.
"Last thing was trying to remember... pushing the driver's door open and standing on the passenger door... flipped and it got dark," Burnette said.
Burnette was driving on Lee Road in Davidson County outside of Thomasville on Sunday night. He couldn't see on the dark rural road, but heavy rain pushed a creek out of its banks. The rushing water covered the road and washed out a part of it. The fast moving water caught Burnette's car and sent them down the creek. The tumbling waters eventually tossed Wade out of the car and he grabbed hold of a tree.
"So I come down this road and when I rolled my window down you can hear screams," Chris Merrill said.
Merrill was driving his family home when he came across the swollen creek and heard Burnette's cries for help. The family called 911. But Merrill felt rescue teams wouldn't get there in time.
"This guy is going to die if someone don’t help him," Merrill said.
So Merrill and his son Cody held each other and pulled Burnette ashore. The next day, Merrill and Burnette wanted to know where the car ended up.
"Wow! Unreal. Can’t believe how far back it is" said Burnette.
On its quarter-mile trip down the creek, the car was battered, the bumpers hanging off and the hood missing. Despite his bad luck, Burnette is glad Merrill was able to hear his call for help.
The North Carolina DOT will close Lee Road for about two weeks as they repair it.