Crash victim meets good Samaritans who pulled her from wreckage

A woman involved in a bad crash in rural Volusia County was able to thank the couple who she says saved her life.

Katie Mannebach was driving along State Road 40 late at night on Oct. 2, when she slammed into a tree.

"I was visiting a friend after work, and that’s the last thing I remember other than hearing someone’s voice calling 911 and then feeling the blades of the helicopter," she explained.

The person who called 911 was Nicole Richards who happened to be driving by at the time with her boyfriend Brenton Patterson.

"I was so thankful they drove by. It could have been hours before someone drove by," said Mannebach.Patterson said a flash in the woods alerted him to the crash.

"I noticed a flash of white in the ditch, and I  instantly thought, 'oh that wasn’t right. What was that?'" he explained. "I pulled off the road and put my headlight on, and there was a car wrapped up in a tree, and I was like, 'Oh that looks bad.'"

At first, he didn't know if anyone was inside.

"The minute I turned my radio down, I can hear screaming and we’re like, 'oh no,'" he said.

Mannebach didn't know how long she had been in the car."

So I immediately get out of the car and I start running down into the ditch and I’m yelling back at [Richards] and say hey you need to call 911 now," said Patterson.

The couple stayed with Mannebach, making sure she stayed alive.

"She was going in and out of consciousness and our biggest challenge was keeping her with us," said Patterson.

"We just sat there until we heard the ambulance, and I told her, 'They’re coming you just need to stay with us a little bit longer,'" added Richards.

Mannebach is still recovering at Halifax Health. She was able to find the couple through social media after putting a call out on Facebook:

"Posted it and maybe two or three days later I had a message from him in my inbox," said Mannebach.

She was able to thank the couple in person Friday morning outside of the rehab facility where she is recovering.

"It feels good knowing there are people out there that care," she said.

Meanwhile, Patterson and Richards said the reunion brought much-needed closure.

"I lost a lot of sleep wondering if she’s OK," said Richards.

"Wondering hey is she gonna be alright, what happened because we didn’t know the result," added Patterson.