Survive the Storm: Springfield flood victim shares how he survived

Jonathan Whitworth is a very lucky to be alive, after an encounter with flood waters in west Springfield.

"I actually just remember praying, and saying, God, please help me out of this mess."

A mess that Jonathan Wentworth was not expecting. On the night he was driving over Wilson's Creek in West Springfield.

"It was really dark out here, and rainy, and the next thing you know, I come over the lip of the bridge over there, and there was water."

"It picked up my whole vehicle and started floating it down, the front end started going down and filling up."

Jonathan knew time was running out and he needed to find a way to get out.

"I tried to open my door, like a normal person would do, that's not going to happen. Then, I tried my windows and all the electronics was just shut down, burned out. I guess."

Once that didn't work, Jonathan remembered he had a wrench set in the back seat.
That he would use to bust out the window.

"I tried to jam it through the window and it just bounced right off. After I hit it the second time, it just busted a little hole."

Jonathan crawled out, but his fight to stay alive had just begun.

"I was trying to swim from like this side to that side and it was like someone had a lasso around my ankle... just holding me there."

The enormous power of the water was too much for Jonathan to handle.

"I started going under, sucking in water, panicking. I remember I was sitting there thinking, I can't believe I'm dying in the flood water."

There was little Jonathan could do. He was now at the mercy of where Wilson's creek would take him.

"The next thing you know, I'm seeing the bridge come up on the greenway trail."

Jonathan was on a crash course with this bridge that usually has water 10 feet below it. But on this night, it was to the top of the rails.

"I reached up and I think it was the third one up. I grabbed it and right when I grabbed it, man, that water pressure just knocked my hand loose and I was just stuck against the rock face like this."

But he could only hold on for so long he was starting to go underwater.

"Your whole life flashes in front of you. But you almost get a peace over yourself before you die, it seems like."

But, not wanting to give up, Jonathan thought about his son, Easton.

"I definately knew, uh, I didn't want to go down like that without getting to talk to Easton. So.. He gave me a second chance, that's for sure."

He knew he only had one choice.

"I took a death breath and went under."

His choice to go under the bridge would prove beneficial. As he popped out the other side, he saw a massive oak tree that would prove to save his life.

"I mean, it was like a split second, just like.. wham.. I just went boom. I just remember going thank you God."

Now secured against the tree, Jonathan started screaming for help.

"The next thing you know, I'm seeing spotlights from the houses, right here, right here, you're close, you're close."

With Jonathan now spotted, swift water rescue teams were on the way.

"I kept saying please hurry, please hurry. It's like they got to me right when I couldn't hold on.. and I just felt myself sliding down that tree."

That's when swift water rescue teams made it, just in time.

"The next thing you know, this guy's just reaching out the boat, grabbed the back of my pants and whoof.. threw me in there. I just remember saying, thank you."

Three months after, Jonathan has a new lease on life.

"I just live life like, every day could be the last day, I mean, you never know, that's for sure. I mean, I feel humbled, that's for sure. I've been pretty lucky my whole life I guess. I didn't really realize how lucky."