Man survives when car slides off road into river

Posted April 20, 2015

A man hydroplaned on Manchester Road Sunday, slid into the Little River but managed to escape, wet but unharmed.

— An 82-year-old man was drying out Monday after a close call during Sunday's heavy rain.

Spring Lake police say Bill Cable was driving on Manchester Road when he hydroplaned and water swept his 2003 Toyota Camry into the Little River.

"I'm lucky," Cable said Monday.

As the water poured into his vehicle, the Vietnam veteran said his military training kicked in.

"The first thing you do is don't panic," he said.

"The water was pushing my automobile down. I tried my left door and couldn't get the darn thing open. So then I reached and got out the passenger side."

Cable's car was washed about 500 feet downstream where it remained submerged Monday.

Unable to call for help because his cellphone was soaked, Cable walked a mile to his home in the rain.

He figured it was too late to worry the neighbors, so Cable simply showered and went to bed. On Monday morning, he returned with Spring Lake police to watch as his car was pulled from the river.


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  • Ronnie Johnston Apr 21, 2015
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    Take your meds Jeffy, take your meds.

  • Mindi Minguez Apr 20, 2015
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    Bless his heart. I am glad he didn't panic. It's a good lesson for all of us. Stay calm. I love how he didn't want to bother the neighbors.
    As for his car maintenance, I bet his car was in better shape than any of ours! He is from the generation that takes care of things instead of throwing them away or replacing them. Sorry Jeff, but your comment was ridiculous. WRAL did all the investigation they needed to on this one - he got home safe. End of story.

  • Benjamin Bridges Apr 20, 2015
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    Seriously? And how do you expect WRAL to DO this investigative reporting on how much tread was on the tires when no one can SEE the tires? The story clearly states the car was 'still submerged'. DUH

  • Jj Parker Apr 20, 2015
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    Ummm Jeff?? You can hydroplane even if you have the best of the best and newest tires...Just saying.

  • Roy Hinkley Apr 20, 2015
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    Jeff, you're funny man.

  • Leigh Ann Borgen Apr 20, 2015
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    Jeff Abbott- do you buy a car and when the tires are worn you get a new car??? I have a 2001 and 2005 vehicle and who would have thought that I take good care, maintain my cars mechanically, get my tires rotated, get new ones when needed, and have regular tire pressure maintenance performed. One has over 150,000 miles and the other has over 200,000 miles and they are still sound cars! It is a ridiculous and arrogant assumption that because a vehicle is older the tires or the vehicle is not maintained! Thank God the man stayed cool under pressure and survived to tell his story!

  • Barbara Sossomon Apr 20, 2015
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    I suspect at 82, he probably knows about car maintenance and takes good care of his car. He knows that is his independence. Just because it was a 2003 does not mean that they are the original tires.

  • Jeff Abbott Apr 20, 2015
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    2003 vehicle? WRAL, how about some investigative reporting on how much tread was actually on this car's tires and if that contributed to the hydroplaning?