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The police have released the disturbing sound of an Arkansas woman who called for help in the last moments of her life, from drowning in her car, only to be met with derision and scorn by the dispatcher.
Debbie Stevens, 47, was on her normal paper route in Fort Smith on Saturday, Aug. 24 when a flash flood swept her car. In a panic, she dialed 911.
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“Please Help me, I don’t want to die!”, Stevens begs for the interview which lasted for 22 minutes. “I can’t swim!” I’m a bit afraid. I’m going to drown!”
The dispatcher, Donna Reneau, who was working her last shift, after giving her notice two weeks earlier, according to the Fort Smith Police Department, said light-hearted of her to tell the authorities to get there when they get there, and that they are not going to die, at one point telling her to “shut up.”
In this Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, photography, acting, Fort Smith, Ark., police Chief Danny Baker to answer questions during a news conference at the police department in Fort Smith.
Jamie Mitchell/The Southwest Times Record, via AP)
As the water slowly filled up the Stevens’ SUV, she said, “I’m scared. I’ve never had anything happen to me like this before.”
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Stevens is pleading for help and prayer, but also received a lecture: “this will teach you, next time don’t drive into the water,” Reneau to respond. “I don’t see how you can’t see it, you had to be right about this, then.”
WARNING: DISTURBING AUDIO OF A 911 CALL WITH A DROWNING WIFE
Authorities responded to the scene, and 12 minutes after that, they chose the 911, but by the water, and it took more than an hour to reach a Fine car, and by the time the police and the fire brigade were able to put in the car, Stephen had been hit.
Fort Smith is the Interim chief of police Danny Baker, discusses Reneau’s reaction as “calloused and indifferent at times,” in a statement, but he added to the KHBS that they didn’t do anything, “a criminal is wrong,” or “violated policy.”
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“I completely understand the dismay and the concern that we have,” Baker said. “We are hoping that we can have a little bit of a better answer.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.