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GMC LIFE

ONSTAR® HELPS RESCUE GMC DRIVER DURING FLASH FLOOD

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Tammy Chervitz just wanted to drive to the airport for a business trip.

But on a Monday morning in August, the financial analyst was leaving her subdivision in Wildwood, Missouri, when she found herself in trouble.

There was water on the road that morning. It had been raining, so Tammy thought nothing of it and kept driving. However, as the road dipped down, Tammy realized she had unknowingly driven her 2018 GMC Acadia midsize SUV into deep water.

It was a flash flood. Tammy knows never to drive into standing water, but this flood caught her by surprise.

“It’s a spot that’s never flooded. All the neighbors said they’ve never seen anything like this,” she said. “What’s normally a road was actually a river.”

Tammy tried to call her husband, Chuck, but she didn’t have a signal on her cellphone.

“He had no idea I was stuck down there,” she said. “So, I looked up at the SOS button and I thought, this is why I have OnStar.”

Tammy was immediately connected with an OnStar Emergency-Certified Advisor who contacted emergency services, tried to reach her husband’s phone and began giving her advice on how to stay safe in the floodwaters.

“The first thing he told me was, you have to get the window down so you can get out,” Tammy said.

Then the Advisor told her to look for a safe spot outside of the vehicle she could climb to in case the vehicle started to move in the rushing waters.

“Leaving my car and going into the water was absolutely not what I wanted to do,” she added.

So, Tammy sat with the vehicle window open for about 20 minutes, ready to leave if the vehicle moved. The OnStar Advisor stayed on the line with her the whole time.

First responders soon arrived, but they were on the opposite side of the fast-flowing waters from Tammy, meaning they couldn’t immediately see her — and they didn’t have a way to reach her. They requested a boat to help but weren’t sure whether they’d be able to cross the fast-flowing currents to reach Tammy.

When Tammy felt her Acadia begin to shift in the floodwaters, following the Advisor’s advice, she left her vehicle and found a tree nearby to grab on to. And just in time, too.

“It was probably within five minutes that the current picked the car up and took it,” said Tammy, who clung onto a tree in the rushing waist-deep water and pouring rain, hoping someone would be able to help her. “I’m thinking, no one can get to me until the rain stops and the water goes down.”

At first Tammy’s car came to rest against a signpost. But within minutes, the sign broke and her vehicle was washed away by the current.

“If I’d still been in that car I would have drowned,” she said.

Suddenly she saw another vehicle approaching from the opposite direction of the first responders. It was Chuck, riding in a neighbor’s off-road vehicle. He jumped out into the water and attached the vehicle’s winch rope to a nearby tree, and Tammy was able to use it to pull herself toward her husband — and to safety.

“Chuck was very distraught thinking I was submerged in the car and I was drowning,” she recalls. “We both kind of lost it after we knew I was safe.”

Only an hour later, the waters had subsided. But by then the flash flood had wreaked havoc on the town, closing schools and washing debris through backyards.

“The area looked like a war zone,” Tammy said.

Tammy has been an OnStar Member since 2003 and has always appreciated the added peace of mind of knowing the service would be there in a crisis.

“I’ve had OnStar for years and I keep it on all my vehicles,” she said. “I’ve mostly used it for the monthly email diagnostics reports, but I never expected to have to use it for an emergency.”

Tammy is grateful she had an OnStar Advisor during the flash flood.

“There's just so much that he told me that you wouldn't think to do on your own, and just having somebody who I knew was with me was everything at that moment.”

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  • Certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

  • Diagnostic capabilities vary by model and plan. Message and data rates may apply. Requires contact method on file and enrollment to receive alerts. Not all issues will deliver alerts. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • 7,700-lb rating requires a properly equipped 2WD Canyon Elevation Crew Cab short bed model with available Duramax 2.8L I4 Diesel engine and Trailering Package (late availability). Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • Requires 4WD Double Cab with available 6.2L V8 and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Regular Cab DRW Long Box 2WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • SLE models only.

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  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Crew Cab DRW Long Box 4WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 9,600-lb rating requires a 2500 or 3500 Regular wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo’s 10,000-lb rating requires  the available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package.  Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual.  The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 8,940-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle and trailer combination, including the weight of driver, passengers, fuel, optional equipment and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

  • Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

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  • Sierra Denali's 9,300-lb rating requires 2wd. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 Wheel Base with 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo's 10,000-lb rating requires 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped, includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Canyon’s 7700-lb rating requires 2WD Crew Cab model with available Duramax 2.8L I-4 Diesel engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

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  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges. Bed/Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers shown. Requires crossbars or Thule Rack Solution. Non-GM warranty. Warranty by Thule®. See dealer for more information.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

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  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 9,006-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

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