A Texas Uber driver was killed when her car was swept off a bridge in historic flash flooding — dying while calling her husband to beg for help from the fast-rising water, according to a report.
Joleen Jarrell, a 60-year-old mother of three, was on her way home from a job Monday when her vehicle was swept off a bridge as nearly 12 inches of rain fell in the suburban Dallas city of Mesquite, her friends told CBS11.
“She was on the phone with her husband and told him the water had reached her ankles, then her knees…,” the station’s Andrea Lucia tweeted.
“The call disconnected and the woman’s husband came out here searching for her,” she said.
“Friends describe her as a hardworking mom who lost her life for an $18 Uber fare,” Lucia said.
Before Jarrell had been identified, Mesquite Fire Chief Rusty Wilson confirmed to reporters at the scene that the dead woman’s loved ones were already searching for her when rescue crews arrived.
“They were on the phone with her … and lost contact with her,” Wilson confirmed of the harrowing call. The whole area around her car had been completely covered in floodwater, he confirmed.
However, they were only able to find Jarrell’s car once the water started to subside, CBS 11 said — with her husband first to spot it.
The fire chief said he had lost count of how many other cars had needed to be towed after getting stuck in flooding in the surrounding area.
One stranded motorist told CBS 11 that their car “just floated on in the ditch.”
“You had to swim because the water was up past my chest,” the witness said.
The City of Mesquite said 11.66 inches of rain fell in the “historic rainfall event.” The National Weather Service (NWS) also said the area had “broken several records.”
“The Dallas-Fort Worth area was pretty much ground zero for the heaviest rain,” NWS meteorologist Daniel Huckaby said.
Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Tuesday.