Twelve Year Old Survives Being Swept Into Half a Mile of Underground Drainpipe


They say miracles happen every day, but for twelve year old Taylor Russell, a miracle is a unique experience. She is going home from the hospital after being swept nearly half a mile underground in a flooded drainpipe in Frackville, Pennsylvania.

drainpipe“I didn’t know there was a drop in the ground there and I went under and was trying to get up and my friends tried helping me and they couldn’t,” Taylor recalled.

The water was much higher on Monday, whipping into a pipe that led right under the road and hundreds of yards underground.

“I was swooped under, and I tried to look back and see if my sister was there, and I was trying to yell and I couldn’t because I didn’t want to open my mouth so I didn’t get anything in my mouth.”

This is a little girl who lost her mom to cancer last year. She says she heard her mom’s voice as she was submerged in that pitch dark.

“It was just scary, dark, scary. My mom helped me through, though. I was thinking of everyone, my dad, my mom, my new mom, my sisters and my brothers. I was just praying that I would make it through,” said Taylor.

When she came out of the pipe, she was swept hundreds of yards downstream.

“I came out and I kept hitting my head off of stuff because there were rocks in the water, and I grabbed on to some rocks and tried to grab on to some trees and kept yelling ‘Please help me, I’m stuck!’”

In the meantime, her dad Brian Russell got word she was missing and rushed to the pipe. He was ready to crawl up in it to find her.

Taylor Russell“You start losing hope very quickly when you see the pipe where she entered,” said Brian Russell. “You start to believe it’s impossible and then…”

And then he got word, this sweet little girl of his was found safe downstream.

“Oh, best thing in the world,” he said. “Best thing in the world when I knew she was OK and she just looked very beaten up. She was breathing, she was talking, and she told me she missed me.”

“I’m still alive,” said Taylor as she remembered coming out of the pipe. “I was so (fearful), like somebody pinch me, I’m still alive, I’m here.”

She said she is really afraid of water right now, but says she’ll take it step by step getting over that fear.

The family thanks everyone who helped find her.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.