911 call: 'I am completely trapped'

Published On: Aug 21 2014 02:10:04 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 21 2014 07:41:15 PM EDT

Melissa Smith and her 8-year-old son were trapped in their car after a tree fell on top of them. She called 911 right away and says she's just thankful they're alive.


The 911 call made by a woman who was in a car with her son and dog when two trees fell on it was released Thursday.

"I am completely trapped," Melissa Smith told a 911 dispatcher. "My son says his head hurts. I can hear the dog panting in the backseat. I am a bent over in between the steering wheel and the dashboard. I cannot move at all, but I am not hurt."

An apparent microburst ripped through the area of Ruby Drive East on the Southside on Monday, bringing down two oak trees on top of the car. Smith and her 8-year-old son, Caleb, had just pulled into their driveway.

Smith said Caleb was trapped in the passenger seat and she couldn't see him, she could only feel his leg. She was still able to keep her calm enough to give out her address and all the details the 911 dispatcher needed.

"There is a tree on top of our car," she told the dispatcher. "Me and my son are stuck inside. He and I are both conscious, and we have a dog in the car."

A firefighter recorded video as nearly 50 rescuers worked to pull the family out -- first Caleb, then the dog and finally Smith.

"I only have a couple of fears. Bridges -- I am afraid of bridges and now trees," Smith said.

"I was sitting right there with my neck down and doing nothing," said Caleb, whose neck is sprained.

The family's surveillance camera recorded the storm moments before trees fell onto a power line and their car.

"I was brave," Caleb said.

Looking at what's left of the car, Smith and her son are thankful they survived, and they owe it to the men and women at the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

"Thank you, firemen, if you are watching," Caleb said. "I need to tell you thank you for rescuing me."

Smith said she is still a little bit sore and is going to be OK. Caleb is recovering. He'll be back in school Friday.

The car, which was a total loss, will be paid for by the insurance company.


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