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2 men jump into action to rescue elderly woman from flood: 'I'm lucky to be alive'

Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 10:47:10-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- An elderly woman was rescued from her car during a flood Saturday when two men jumped into action to get her to safety.

The three individuals were unknown to each other, but a severe rain storm brought them together for a day they will never forget.

"They saved my life," 82-year-old Evelyn Moore said without hesitation.

"They're Heroes, they're Heroes," said Moore."I could have drowned because I don't know how to swim."

One of those men, Mike Walker, returned to where it all happened Monday morning, the off ramp of I-95 northbound to Bank Street in Petersburg.

"It definitely looks different than the last time I've seen it, there's definitely still a host of emotions that's attached to this," said Walker.

Walker was heading north on I-95 when he took the Bank Street off ramp due to the driving rain.

Like other drivers in the pouring rain, he didn't see the road was flooded.

"By the time I hit the water, my car shut off and that's where I was," said Walker.

When he was able to get out of his 2016 Dodge Charger, the water was up to his neck.

Walking towards higher ground, the 31-year-old heard people on the interstate yelling there was a woman trapped.

So he waded back out into the flood waters.

"In this section here, it was up to my chest line," he described.

Heading towards Evelyn's Honda Accord, Walker heard a man yell to him and then he spotted him.

"Came down this embankment and then he swam across to meet us at her car," Walker recalled.

That second man was Dr. Jay Slagle.

"First thought, we can't let anything bad happen to these people on our watch," said Slagle.

What he was watching was the water rise.

"The reality of the situation is, everything was happening pretty fast," he recalled.

Slagle jumped in without hesitation.

"You can't sit there and watch bad things happen," said Slagle.

"I think that was very heroic of him to even take a chance of coming down an embankment and swimming over," said Walker.

For Evelyn Moore, she says she wants to give the men a personal "thank you" for the risk they took to save her life.

"I only lost a car, not my life, cars can be replaced, so I'm lucky to be alive," she added.