Mom Miraculously Saves Daughter From Sinking Car After Crashing Into Icy Pond

January 22, 2019

On the way to a birthday party with her 4-year-old daughter, Ashley Holland lost control of her vehicle and rolled down an embankment into an icy pond.

She thought she was going to die.

mom saves daughter ice water
Credit: Ryan Richard / CBC News

"When something like that happens, it's like your parental instincts just kick in, right? And you do what you need to do to get your child to safety," the 24-year-old mother from Hantsport, N.S. told CBC Radio.

As freezing water rushed in, Holland managed to free her daughter from the backseat, escape the vehicle, and swim to a nearby embankment.

"How they were even able to get out of that car was a miracle," said Captain Ryan Richard of the Brooklyn volunteer fire department, who arrived at the scene shortly after the pair made it out of the water.

"To be able to swim to shore and get up over that embankment is totally unheard of."

mom saves daughter ice water
Ashley Holland and Macy / CBC News

According to Holland, the car initially landed on its roof and both passenger side windows smashed on impact.

Water started pouring in.

Holland unbuckled herself and crawled out a window into the water. She tried to open her daughter's door from the outside but it wasn't budging.


For a moment, Holland thought she wouldn't be able to save Macy. The car was sinking too fast. Her hands were going numb. But she refused to give up.

She climbed over the car and went back in through a window and worked with her daughter to free her from the car seat.

When they got to the embankment, Holland didn't think she could make it up the hill. So he told her daughter to get help.

"I just said to her, 'Run, you need to run, go'."

Macy flagged down a passing car for help as Holland managed to bring herself to the top of the embankment. The woman in the car wrapped them both up in a jacket and called 911 while they warmed up in the vehicle.

Holland added she is very fortunate she decided not to take her 14-month-old to the party or things could have been much worse.

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