Road remains closed after toddler’s drowning death

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WABASH, Ind. (WPTA21) — State police say a young woman got lost in Wabash County, and the wrong turn led to the death of her child.

“This is why we ask people to turn around, don’t drown. It sounds cliche,” State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum says.

But Slocum says that’s exactly what 22-year-old Anthonitte Carter of Indianapolis didn’t do Thursday afternoon on a side road in southern Wabash County.

She drove right past a posted sign warning drivers about potential flooding.

It was a fatal mistake.

“She had driven into flood waters, causing her vehicle to be carried away to the north side of the road where it became submerged,” he says.

He says someone driving behind Carter called 911 as Carter struggled to get back to her sinking car.

The first officers to get there went into the rushing water to rescue her but the vehicle had already sunk.

When Indiana conservation divers found the Impala several hours later, it was under eight feet of water.

Carter’s two-year-old son, Eric Long, was still strapped in his car seat in the back.

Police believe she took a wrong turn on her way to LaFontaine and was following her GPS.

“GPS systems are utilizing satellites, they’re not utilizing eyeballs on the road. They don’t know that it’s rained for the past four or five days here in the Wabash County area. All they know is there’s a road there and on a normal day that road is passable,” Slocum says.

“It is a significant dip, yes,” neighbor Denise Miller says.

Miller lives down the road.

She says locals use it all the time as a cut through between State Roads 13 and 15, but they know they can’t when water covers the pavement.

“I went that way, I saw water, oh no, I’ve got to go around because I know what that’s like. But this woman is from Indy. Yeah, so she didn’t know. That’s the reason why. Oh, poor thing,” Miller says.

Police say if you get trapped in water in your car, take off your seatbelt first, then other people’s, starting with the oldest.

Roll down the windows and climb onto the roof, where you should call 911.

Carter spent the night in the hospital.

It’s not clear whether she will face charges in the death of her son.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose

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