Family calls Arrington water rescue scariest moment of their lives

Special Reports

ARRINGTON, Tenn. (WKRN) – A holiday vacation in Arrington became the scariest moment of Nathan Dillard’s life. On December 29th, his family was headed to Arrington Vineyards for a picnic. After a torrential downpour, the family called off the picnic.

The trouble began when they tried to leave the vineyards. “I hit like a puddle and think – well it’s been raining a lot, that’s to be expected,” said Dillard.

“And the next thing I know, [water hit] and it’s spraying. You know, coming up over the windshield, on the hood, over the engine. I’m just like – oh god.”

Dillard said all he could see was water. He called his wife Jeanine. She described the call that day, “He said, ‘I’m stuck. I’m scared. I don’t know what to do.” 

Nathan’s 11-month-old was in the car, along with his mother-in-law, Lori Young. She immediately called 911, “911 was kind of anxious, and they scared me because they were so – Ma’am you have to get off the phone and have your son-in-law call me right now – but we’re sending someone to Patton Road. We’re on the way.'”

Nathan got on the phone with dispatch as the water moved into the passenger side of the car.

Meanwhile, Jeanine desperately tried to reach him but keeps getting a busy signal. “I’m starting to panic. My baby is in the car with my husband, and all he tells me is – I’m stuck and the waters are rising.”

Jeanine and her daughters began to say a prayer for their trapped family members. At that same time, Nathan and their son are being rescued. Jeanine’s brother-in-law arrived at the scene. He sent her a photo of the rescue, “He sent me the picture of Nathan holding Cason, and then I just lost it.”

A short time later, Nathan and his son were reunited with the rest of the family.

Young says they have all learned just how dangerous flash flooding can be, “If you see anything that even resembles water, you have to turn around. It may be an inch, but it might not. And that’s the thing. You just don’t know.” 

As part of News 2’s weeklong coverage of Severe Weather and Flood Preparedness Week coverage, Danielle Breezy brings you stories of storm survivors from across Middle Tennessee. Click here to see more.

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