Man, granddaughter rescued from truck trapped under power lines

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News, JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @NSwabyKing5

KING5.com

Posted on November 16, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 16 at 6:32 PM

DARRINGTON, Wash. -- A Darrington man is thankful to be alive after Monday night's storm blew power lines onto his truck, trapping him and his granddaughter.

Darrell Hunt was driving home on State Route 530 with his three-year-old granddaughter Echo when the high winds swept up.

"There was a big boom and then a tree fell," said Hunt.

Power lines fell on his truck, trapping him and Echo inside his pickup truck.

"I just grabbed Echo and I grabbed blankets that we had in the truck and we just started praying," he said. "She kept crying... I just kept holding her, praying."  

"She was crying and she wanted to be comforted. I just kept holding her and praying. The flames just got bigger and bigger and the smoke just got heavier and heavier," he said. "There was one split second when I didn't think I was going to make it out because the smoke was so heavy."

Hunt was able to call for help, and firefighters from the Oso Volunteer Fire Department quickly arrived to save them.

Firefighter Gary Moffett used an axe to break out the truck's rear window so he and two other firefighters could reach Echo.

"I heard banging. It was probably within a few minutes or so and the back window was broken out," recalled Hunt.

"She wasn't scared of me," said Moffett. "She just came right to me."

"I just handed (Echo) to him and away he went. And then I got out," said Hunt.

Firefighters believe a circuit breaker was somehow tripped and that allowed the team to get into the truck safely.

"I was very relieved because in the few minutes before that I didn't know how we were going to save them," said Moffett.

Outside of the truck and safe, Hunt watched as his truck went up in flames.

"I know that it was the Lord that kept us alive because there was no way," said Hunt.

Moffett told KING 5 News he credits a team effort on all of the firefighters for saving Hunt and Echo.

"I think God was looking out for all of us last night, everyone of us," said Moffett.

Both Hunt and his granddaughter are fine and suffered no injuries.

State Patrol troopers say at the height of Monday's storm, they were responding to three dozen calls in the Darrington area. 

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