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Carlsbad woman in search of 'guardian angel' after rescue from rising waters

Carlsbad crash victim in search of 'guardian angel' after rescue from rising waters
Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 23:01:52-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - A Carlsbad woman is in search of the good Samaritan who rescued her from her flipped car, as rain and water rushed in.

Last Wednesday morning, as Torey Shanklin got on I-15, headed from Carlsbad to Palm Springs for a medical sales business meeting, the rain was already coming down at a good rate.

By the time she got to Temecula, it was pouring.

“Before I could make a decision to pull over, I was hydroplaning,” said Shanklin.

Shanklin recalls her Mercedes sedan spinning toward a drainage ditch, before her car flipped.

“It goes black. I just wake up, hanging upside down by my seatbelt,” said Shanklin.

A voice from her car's collision detection told her 911 had been called.

Shanklin says almost immediately, the water started pouring in. Several air bags deployed, constraining her, and she desperately looked to get out.

“I was just terrified, because I felt so trapped and helpless. I’m trying to break the windows and open the doors. Nothing is working. Water is coming in from everywhere. Now, I’m thinking I'm going to drown here,” said Shanklin. “Then, I just see this guy. I just start pounding so hard, and he hears me.”

Shanklin says a man in his 20s appeared outside the car and tried but couldn't break the glass, before moving to the trunk.

“At first, he can't get trunk open, and then he finally gets the trunk open, pulls me out, and I broke down crying,” said Shanklin.

Shanklin, who suffered a concussion, says emergency crews arrived more than five minutes later. As they tended to her, she assured her rescuer he didn't have to stay.

Later, she realized, she only got his first name: Hayden.

“I would call him a ‘guardian angel.’ Someone was watching over me and sent Hayden to help me,” said Shanklin.

Shanklin is now looking for help in finding her ‘angel.’

“I will hug him, thank him, help him understand how much that meant to me,” said Shanklin.

Hayden is believed to be in his mid to late 20s, with blondish hair.

If you know the identity of the good Samaritan, email us at tips@10news-com.