It was dark, and heavy rain had been falling for a couple of days. “It was really foggy,” Flatt said.
She said it is hard to remember exactly what happened next.
What firefighters and first responders saw when they arrived at the Floyd County church was a silver Lexus turned upside-down in an eight-foot drainage ditch next to a driveway.
Flatt and her three grandchildren — Jimmy Reid, 5, Bryan Flatt, 9, and Oscar Flatt, 12 — had slid into the ditch, which had rainwater flowing through it.
“I was just scared to death,” Kaye Flatt said. “My head was underwater and I couldn’t talk to the kids to tell them what to do. I heard Oscar in the passenger seat but I didn’t know where the kids in the back were.”
“I didn’t have a fear of the crash. I really had a fear of the car filling up with water. That’s what scared me,” Oscar said. “I tried to open the door and that’s when I realized we were upside-down.”
Flatt and her grandkids are still trying to remember what happened next.
“I was just thinking, ‘I’m going to have to breathe in a minute and I’m going to have to breathe this water in,’” Flatt said. “Then Oscar grabbed me.”
Oscar was holding his grandmother’s head up above the water that was filling flipped vehicle off Pleasant Valley Road.
“I was shocked because I thought they were all underwater,” Flatt said.
“I was really scared,’ Bryan said. “I was just praying that everybody was OK.”
With Bryan working to keep Jimmy calm in the back seat, the four received some help from those who were also at the basketball practice.
According to Chris Giddens, the church’s children’s minister who was at the church the night of the incident, three people who were there — Seth Addison, Jason Ortwine and Clay Burkhalter — helped get all four occupants out of the car.
Burkhalter is a former firefighter with the Rome-Floyd Fire Department.
After being pulled from the wreckage, all four were treated and released from Floyd Medical Center just a few hours later.
Oscar was tender around the ribs but other than that, all four escaped without a scratch.
“The boys did so good,” Flatt said. “They did just what they were supposed to do without even knowing what to do.”
Ida Brown, the boys’ other grandmother, said the entire family has been praising the children’s actions.
“Their dad and us are all so proud,” Brown said. “Oscar wasn’t going to get out of the car until they got Kaye out first. What child at that age thinks like that?”