NewsHillsborough County

Actions

Florida woman run over by her own car twice, lucky to be alive after off-duty deputy rushes to help

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 20, 2019

SEFFNER, Fla. — A psychology professor was run over by her own car, twice, last month after she believes she forgot to put her car in park at the top of her steep driveway in Seffner.

Deah Quinlivan, a professor at Florida Southern College, is recovering after being rescued by her neighbor who is an off-duty Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy. She is expected to make a full recovery, but suffered multiple broken ribs, and the car's weight basically folded her pelvis in half.

"My surgeon said it was just amazing, it just came all together like a puzzle," he said.

Quinlivan told ABC Action News she went down the end of her drive way to bring her garbage can up from the curb, she remembers looking up and seeing her car barreling towards her.

"I was trying so hard to get out from under it, I was just trying to survive," she said.

ABC Action News is inserting some of the raw interview with Quinlivan:

Woman run over by her own car twice, lucky to be alive

Quinlivan said she screamed for help, which felt much longer than it likely was before remembering one of her own social psychology lessons. She described to reporter Nicole Grigg that when you're emergency situations you should also be specific when shouting for help, "sometimes you have to point people out, whether it’s hey you in the green shirt," she said.

Quinlivan then started shouting specific names, eventually screaming "JOSH!" who is also her neighbor.

Off-duty Hillsborough County sheriff deputy Joshua Boyer heard yelling from inside his home, "and I heard someone screaming like they were dying outside."

Boyer couldn't figure out exactly what happened behind described the scene as extremely bloody, and could see Quinlivan covered in severe road rash.

As he began to isolate her head, neighbors started to come out so he could direct others in ways to help like dialing 911, others getting pillows and blankets.

Quinlivan said she is lucky to be alive according to her doctors, "If it (car) had been a little either way, I might be paralyzed if I was lucky, or I shouldn’t be here."

She tells ABC Action News she knows Boyer helped save her life.

"And, all the neighbors said, 'you saved her life,' I don’t see it that way, I was just there," said Boyer.

To share Quinlivan's story that doctor's call a miracle on Facebook, please click here.