EVERGREEN - A man in Evergreen is thanking CSP and the community following a weather-related accident that sent his car careening down the side of a steep embankment on Thursday.
North Turkey Creek Road wasn't maintained at the time of the crash, officials with CSP said.
Josh Ellis hit a pile of snow and lost control of his car. By the time it reached the bottom of the embankment, his car was upside down under about one foot of water, he said.
"The water came up to basically my shoulders in the car so I had to pull my head out and undo the seat belt," Ellis said. He had to submerge his body underwater to escape through the passenger side window.
"That initial panic is a bit surreal," Ellis says, "You're laying in the water and the car fills up so quickly you don't realize how fast it's happening."
Ellis got out of the car by himself. The crash isn't what surprised him the most. At least two people stopped during the storm to offer him everything from coffee to blankets.
"I was really thankful that they were so nice and they let me put my soaking wet stuff in their cars, "Ellis said.
To Ellis' fiance Alex Hawley, the kindness of those strangers meant the world.
"It was a cold, snowy, windy day and he was completely soaked," Hawley says, "if they hadn't stopped and offered up their blankets, their car, their free coffee, it could have been a much worse situation being that cold and wet."
The couple, who recently moved to Evergreen, were also surprised by the kindness of the CSP trooper who responded to the crash.
"He was really nice," Ellis said, "He was being so kind, friendly and explaining everything to us."
Trooper Stark, who has been with CSP since 2014, says that's a critical aspect of his job.
"Everybody makes mistakes, everybody crashes their cars," Trooper Stark said. "It's how you deal with the situation afterwards that makes a difference."
CSP reminds drivers to slow down when the roads are icy or slushy. Ellis' car was totaled but he was not seriously injured.
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