Woman Drowns In Pryor Flood Waters

Sunday, May 3rd 2009, 3:53 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

PRYOR, OK -- Rescue crews find the body of a Pryor woman on a flooded road.  The 49-year-old college student is the first victim of the weekend's heavy rains.

Kimberlyn Kendrick was driving home from her parents' house on Elliott Street in Pryor.  A half mile down the road, she lost control of her car because of the flooding and called 911.  By the time the fire department arrived, the car was already submerged.

"She was having a lot of trouble giving directions to her exact location. Pitch black dark, can't see anything," said firefighter Kenny Cooper.

Firefighter Kenny Cooper listened to the 911 call: a desperate woman calling for help after flood water swept her car off the road.

"Seemed really calm. Level headed. But, she knew she was in trouble, right off the bat," said firefighter Kenny Cooper.

Kimberlyn Kendrick was paying a visit to her parents' house and was on the way home when she drove into a flooded street.

"The current caught the rear end of her car, and pushed it around, and actually pulled it into the ditch. And, when it got into the deeper swifter water, it just pulled her out.

It was raining throughout the night, and it took firefighters four hours to find the car.

"She went around a barrier, and we don't understand that, because she knows, she's always known how dangerous that road was. So, she must have become disoriented to have done that," said Kendrick's aunt, Henryetta Lehman.

Lehman drove five hours up from Texas when she heard the news.

"She was very caring and we will miss her very, very much. And we loved her," said Henryetta Lehman.

Kendrick was in school studying to be a nurse.  Her family calls her a generous and sweet spirit and a loving daughter.

While much of this community is beginning to clean-up, the Kendrick family now is beginning to mourn.

 "It's a very close knit family, so it's going to be hard for all of us," said Kendrick's aunt, Henryetta Lehman.

Firefighters say the road likely had more than seven feet of water at the height of the floods on Sunday morning.  They hope this tragedy will make others think twice about driving down flooded roads. 

Funeral arrangements for Kimberlyn Kendrick are still pending.