The family of a woman who was trapped in her wrecked car for hours, out of sight of thousands of motorists, spoke about the ordeal Friday night.
Cassandra Wiggins, 39, is still recovering in the hospital from hip surgery, which she had Thursday. Her family, including her father, have remained at her side ever since.
Chopper 5 flew over the scene and showed the dramatic video of the fire department's two-hour effort to remove her from her car, which slid down an embankment at Interstate 470 and Hillcrest Road eight hours earlier.
She told police she was headed to work at 7:30 a.m. Thursday when she hydroplaned. She can only guess the wreck knocked her out, but her car was out of view from traffic. She regained consciousness about 3 p.m. and called 911.
Her dad told us she got through the ordeal by praying.
"She said, 'daddy, I thought at first I was going to die, then I just kept praying.' That's what we taught Cass from early childhood, and that's what she did and the Lord answered her prayer. So we're grateful. We're thankful for the firemen that came and helped her up that hill. I don't see how they got up it, that hill was so long," said Robert Wiggins.
He said Cassandra Wiggins had surgery to her hip Thursday night. The good news is that she did not need any pins. The bad news is that she is still too sore to stand, but Robert Wiggins said doctors expect her to walk on her own eventually.
Jack Renfro is a Rockhurst University student who said he was headed to his summer job when he saw the wreck involving Cassandra Wiggins out of the corner of his eye.
His phone records show that he called 911 about 6:30 a.m. That call would have been before Cassandra Wiggins' said she was involved in her wreck, but Renfro describes seeing the same car hydroplaning, spinning and crashing into the embankment at approximately the same location where firefighters worked to free the trapped woman.
Renfro said he gave his contact information to the dispatcher, but never heard back from them about the crash until he saw it on the news. Police reports say dispatchers never received a call about the crash until Cassandra Wiggins regained consciousness and called them that afternoon, but Renfro insists he saw the crash and told dispatchers from the start.
"That vehicle should have been found immediately because I called immediately after the accident and that's where the whole problem is. I'm surprised that the authorities did not find or try to call me back to get more information about the vehicle," Renfro said.
KCTV5 has reached out to Kansas City, MO, police about the call Renfro said he made. In response, they reiterated that Cassandra Wiggins, the driver, said she wrecked about 7:30 a.m.
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