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Woman survives 18 hours pinned by own car

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 06:45:33-04

WHITEHALL, NY (SPECTRUM ALBANY/CNN) - A woman survived being trapped for 18 hours under her car in a rainstorm.

Shirley Coderre, 77,  accidentally put her car in neutral instead of park. It rolled down her steep drive and pinned her at the top of her driveway, leaving her crying for help.

It wasn't until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday when Patty Gordon made an unplanned stop at home that help finally arrived.

"But yesterday I was not supposed to come home. But thank God I did," Gordon said. "I came home and I heard her yelling, but I thought she was yelling for her dog. But the more I listened, and I listened really close, and she was yelling, 'Help! Help me! Please help me!"

Gordon saw Coderre's car was stuck on an embankment, her left leg tangled in the wheel well and her right pinned under the car door.

She had been lying like that since 3 p.m. Monday when she put her car into neutral instead of park, and it began rolling backwards.

"I think anybody else, it would have killed her, but she's a tough lady," said Whitehall Fire Company Deputy Chief Brian Brooks.

He held Coderre's hand while his fellow volunteer firefighters used the Jaws of Life to life to lift the car off of her.  

Emergency crews brought her to Albany Medical Center in a helicopter.

"She had to survive a rainstorm. She survived the night. She was conscious and alert and breathing all the time, which I found amazing," Brooks said.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Coderre was in the hospital listed in critical condition. 

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