Three men are being credited for saving a woman's life in Lancaster after flash flooding in a neighborhood swept her SUV off the road.
"I am grateful, blessed and thanking God," said Alesa Bell who was rescued. "I didn’t have to be here today, but He sent me three angels to rescue me like I asked him to, because when I was in that car, that water had rose way above the window and started plowing into the car."
On Monday, afternoon storms brought heavy rain to some parts of North Texas. Bell said she could barely see out the front window while driving in Lancaster.
Bell, 62, doesn't live in the area but was on her way back to work from lunch. She said the heavy rain was pooling in some spots. She was trying to avoid it and while driving along Bluegrove Road in between Reynolds Street and Kings Cross Drive, she thought her SUV would make it.
“It looked like maybe just something like a pipe may have broken so I said, 'Okay I’ll try and bypass that and curve over,' and when I did that, the water I didn't know was so fierce and so much and it swept me right on over and down I went," explained Bell.
Pictures show her SUV submerged in the ditch. Bell, a mother of two and grandmother to five, thought this was it.
"That I was on my way to heaven, that’s what I thought. Because when I was looking at that window and that water was rising so quickly way above my head and then I realized it was coming into the car, I didn't think I was going to make it," said Bell.
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She tried opening the door, but it wouldn’t work. She thought the windows were not going to roll down, but had luck with the passenger side window.
“It was a blessing from God that, that one window opened to let me out,” said Bell. “I was so weak in my knees, I was so nervous and I got enough strength to climb over to the passenger side.”
Strangers Come to the Rescue
Bell said she saw a man in a truck was pulled over on the street.
"The young man stopped right there and got out of his truck and he said, 'I'm calling police for help and two more other guys and him pulled me out of that water," recalled Bell.
"I looked over to my right and saw the car in the ditch and it just happened so fast and took me by surprise," said Christopher Loud Sr. who was headed back to his apartment.
He was leaving his friend's house around the corner from where Mrs. Bell was located. Loud called his friend, Avanti Reed, to hurry over.
"He was like, 'Hey I need your help, come fast!' said Reed who started running from his house. "The water was up, you couldn't even see the curb."
The two men said first responders told them to wait as more help was on the way, but they went in. They said one of the first responders also helped.
"We just grabbed her out, she was hanging out the passenger side asking for help," said Reed.
"We literally just did what needed to be done. We ran to her, as we were trying to grab her out of the car we were trying to calm her at the same time," said Loud
Finding the Good Samaritans
Bell had no idea who rescued her, but her two adult children put a post on social media looking for the men. By Wednesday they were in contact with two of the people who saved their mom.
"(I want to) Give them the biggest bear hug they’ve ever had. I thank God for them because they saved my life, I could have drowned in that car,” expressed Bell. “That water could have overtaken me and I could not be here today, but because of those three young men, came and risked their lives, because that water was way out, they pulled me out through that window.”
During NBC 5's interview with Bell, after reaching out to Reed who was available at the same time, he showed up and met the woman he helped save.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you again, so much!" said Bell to Reed as she gave him a hug.
Reed told Bell he wasn't going to let her stay in the car.
"I like to call you an angel, God sent you, to get me. Give me one more hug," said Bell to Reed as she went in for another embrace.
"I'm not a hero, I'm not a hero, I just do what I feel like is right," said Reed.
"God dispatched you to come around me," said Bell to Reed.
The family said they plan on doing something for the three men who helped save their mother.
Reed said that area has flooded in the past, and the water flows down from a grassy area across the street.
"This will flood very quickly, very quickly, I guess it's something we should take up with the city," said Reed.
He said even though the road appeared to have water on it, the creek wasn't necessarily full.
"For someone who isn't around here a lot it could look like a street to you and you're just going to go through the water," said Reed.
Bell said she would never try and drive on a flooded roadway again.
"Never, I don't even know if I would drive in the rain again, no ma'am. Never, Never!" shouted Bell. "I didn't expect what happened, I had no idea that the water was that much of water, and that fierce, and that powerful. I didn't know that, had I know that coming this way, I would have never came, I would have stopped down the street."