Woman Drowns While Being Mocked By 911 Operator

A woman who got her vehicle stuck in flood waters is dead and the 911 call she made is under scrutiny.

Debra Stevens was out delivering newspapers August 24 in Ft. Smith, when her car became surrounded by water. Police released audio of the shocking 911 call on Friday. Stevens can be heard saying repeatedly, “Please help me. I don’t wanna die.” In response, the dispatcher says "You're not going to die. I don't know why you're freaking out. It's OK. I know the water level is high."

The most disturbing part of the call is when the 911 operator berates the desperate woman for driving into the water.

Stevens: "I'm scared. I've never had anything like this happen to me before."

Dispatcher: "This will teach you next time don't drive in the water."

Stevens: "Couldn't see it, ma'am. I'm sorry, or I wouldn't have."

Dispatcher: "I don't see how you didn't see it. You had to go right over it, so."

It turns out that the dispatcher had given her two weeks notice and the night of the call was her last shift. Ft. Smith Interim Police Chief Danny Baker says the operator did nothing criminally wrong and followed procedure. When asked why the call wasn’t elevated, he said the worker probably didn’t realize the gravity of the situation.




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