KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nexstar Media Wire) — Trapped underwater during Thursday’s flash flooding in Missouri, 18-year-old Joey Criscione thought he was going to die.
Criscione said it was an experience he will never forget after surviving a harrowing accident.
He was getting on I-35 just before 2 p.m. Thursday when his truck started hydroplaning in the water. The Ford Ranger fishtailed several times and spun around before flipping over into a culvert next to the highway.
Criscione said he was trapped underneath the truck in total darkness as it began filling with water.
“Actually, the first thing I started doing was honking my horn when I realized I could not get out,” Criscione said. “So I left my horn on, and I was screaming for someone to help. Please help. I guess someone heard me scream. Eventually I stuck my feet out to try to get someone’s attention, and I felt someone grab my foot.”
Criscione said that a 7-year-old boy traveling with his father spotted the truck upside down in the ditch and stopped in the heavy rain to help. The driver saw Criscione stick his boots out of what was left of a window but couldn’t pull him out.
As the truck continued to fill with water, a passing tow truck also stopped and the operator quickly attached chains to flip the truck over.
Criscione is convinced he would have died if that had not happened.
He said he got to meet the driver and thank everyone involved. His truck is totaled, but he said the biggest lesson he learned is not only to be careful in high water, but to stop when you see a crash, and don’t assume everyone is going to be fine.