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Vehicle Submersion

Trey Kidwell

1990 - June 4, 2007

Late on the evening of June 4, 2007, Mary Kay Kidwell’s 17-year-old grandson Trey and his friend found themselves lost on an unfamiliar country road in Indiana. Trey had taken a wrong turn while returning home after visiting a friend in a nearby town.

What they did not know was that this particular road, without warning, became a boat ramp for an Indiana lake. They also did not know how to get out of a sinking vehicle. Before the car became submerged, they managed to get the passenger door open enough for his friend to squeeze out.

But Trey, a strong swimmer, drowned as his car filled with murky water and sank to the bottom of the lake. Divers found him about two hours later. That day in June had been Trey’s first day at his summer lifeguarding job; it was the last day of his life.

The terrible news turned Mary Kay Kidwell into an unlikely activist, determined to make something positive out of Trey’s death by preventing the scores of similar drownings that occur in the U.S. every year. She teamed up with experts in the field of vehicle immersion and became a spokesperson for professionally developed self-survival protocols* and a proponent of the resqme glass-breaking tool.

* Escape Tips:

If your vehicle goes into water, you have less than 60 seconds to get out. If you know and practice what to do, you can survive.

Always keep a window breaker & seat belt cutter tool in your vehicle at all times and know where it is.

Teach your family these steps IN ORDER.

  1. Release Seatbelt(s).
  2. Open or break windows.
  3. Free children (oldest to youngest) from restraints and move them close to an adult who can assist in their escape.
  4. Follow immediately, climb atop the car and then call for help or get to shore.
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