Breaking News
More () »

Charlotte woman grateful to be alive after hydroplaning into traffic

Kayla Alford said she didn’t get far on her Sunday drive to work last weekend once she made a sharp turn that changed everything.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Investigators say rainy weather is to blame for a near-death accident that left a car severely damaged, while the young driver who was inside said she’s just thankful to still be alive.

“I was definitely very blessed and definitely had a guardian angel watching out for me," Kayla Alford said. 

Heavy rains are pouring problems for drivers out on the road.

Kayla Alford said she didn’t get far on her Sunday drive to work last weekend once she made a sharp turn that changed everything.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

"I caught it on the wrong corner and it took me out," Alford said. “I hydroplaned into oncoming traffic and a four-runner hit me, t-boned me on the passenger side and tipped the car.”

The 21-year-old said a part of the convertible roof was ripped off and a seat belt failure threw her from the car. The car then went down an embankment hitting a tree.

"I was really lucky I didn’t get hit or anything, but they said me getting ejected probably saved me because if I would have went down and hit that tree the amount of trauma would have been way worse," she said. 

But when you’re driving in a downpour, AAA said you can reduce the chance of hydroplaning if you slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply, and drive in the tracks of the car ahead of you.

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app.

Unfortunately for Alford, that advice was all too late. She said before being thrown out of the car, her head smashed the windshield leaving her with a broken nose and eye socket.

“This keeps filling up and bleeds out and then I have a bunch of marks from glass and stuff all through here and stitches all throughout my face,"
Alford said. 

Now she’s preparing for her senior year at Johnson and Wales University this fall a bit differently than expected, yet still thankful.

“I’m trying to put myself through college right now so this was the last obstacle I ever thought I would have to go through and overcome," Alford said. "But I am very blessed and I have a great support system behind me.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the driver's recovery.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.  
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts   

All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out