PASSAIC, N.J. — A DoorDash driver is lucky to be alive after being sucked underground during a flash flood in New Jersey on Monday.
Nathalia Bruno, 24, was delivering food when her car became trapped in rising flood waters in Passaic. She managed to get out of the car, but both she and the Toyota Prius were sucked into a decades-old underground viaduct.
The water tossed Bruno down the culvert, which is about three-quarters of a mile long, at 30 to 40 mph, according to the New York Times.
She eventually washed into the Passaic River.
After being dumped into the river, Bruno floated on her back for about 10 minutes and gulped air until she felt strong enough to make her way toward the shore, she told the Times.
Bruno told the Times she is not a good swimmer, but she had taken a class when she was 5. She is also about 4 feet 8 inches tall, which may have helped her avoid debris in the culvert, which narrows to about 5 feet by 6 feet before dumping into the Passaic.
Bruno suffered only minor injuries. Her car wasn’t so lucky.
It slammed into a support structure in the tunnel, and the twisted hunk of metal was later pulled out of a massive underground storm drain.
DoorDash released a statement saying, “We have reached out to offer our support during her recovery. And we’ll be providing her with financial assistance as well as occupational accident insurance.”