HARFORD CO. -- WBFF -- A Harford County man opened up about the terrifying moment his girlfriend was swept away by flood waters outside Bel-Air Friday.
Kyle Bowman said he and his girlfriend Melissa Lehew, 34, were driving home from a local store when they noticed a disabled car on a flooded bridge on Calvary Road near James Run Road.
Bowman retrieved a rope from the back of his truck in an attempt to help the stranded driver.
He said Lehew was recording cell phone video from inside their vehicle, and then also got out to try and help.
“I didn’t realize she was following me out there so closely,” said Bowman. “She just didn’t have the strength to fight the current.”
Bowman said the current pushed the couple into a guardrail that leads to the bridge.
“It pushed her under the guardrail,” described Bowman. “I made my way over to her and pulled her head up from the water so she could breathe. She got to a telephone pole and was holding onto that. I was holding onto a bush. I was trying to pull her up and I just couldn’t. She couldn’t hold on. She just got swept away. As I was pulling myself out with the rope the car also washed over the guardrail and went into the creek too.”
Now, more than two days later there’s been no sign of the mother of four despite a massive search effort of the river and a nearby quarry.
Crews did recover the body of the stranded driver Saturday and identified the victim as Daniel Samis, 67, of Abingdon.
“It just seems surreal,” said Bowman. “I can’t believe it’s really happening. I’m just thankful for all the search and rescue there. The risk they’re taking.”
The Maryland State Police department was forced to suspend the search for Lehew late Sunday afternoon due to unsafe conditions within the quarry.
Two members of the Baltimore City dive team had to be flown to Shock Trauma due to complications during the search. Both are expected to be okay.
As the search continues, Bowman is finding comfort in the church he and Melissa attend in Harford County.
The congregation gathered in prayer Sunday, and some plan to take part in search operations Monday.
“I’m just praying they’ll find her somewhere,” said Bowman. “That’s all I can do at this point.”