With the car sinking fast, Alena made a frantic 911 call. "I'm in a car and I can't open the door, and the water's coming in and we're sinking," she told the operator. "I don't want to drown!"
As the car filled with water, Alena's grandfather told her to get into the backseat, which was not yet submerged. "Towards the roof there was a little pocket of air and so I tried taking a big breath, and I remember I got air the first time and water the second and then I passed out," she says. "I felt like I was suffocating. I kind of prayed that it wouldn't hurt too much."