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Updated: 3:24 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009 | Posted: 3:23 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009

Transcript of 911 call as operator seeks to assist Seydi Burciaga

By Staff

(Editor's note: Because of the sensitive nature of the call, ajc.com has decided not to post the audio of Seydi Burciaga's conversation with 911. What follows is the complete transcript, obtained from Gwinnett County 911. You can also read our story about the call.)

Operator: 911 do you have an emergency? Gwinnett County 911, what’s the location of the emergency?

Caller: Please, I need some help!

Operator: Okay, where are you?

Caller: I am two exits…I mean…

Operator: Ma’am…

Caller: Desiree Drive, but I am in the car… I mean… Behind the school, Alford Elementary. My car is behind one of the houses…it was in the water…the behind of the house is like yellow…

Operator: Ma’am, Ma’am, Ma’am, I need first and foremost you have to calm down, okay?. If I’m going to help you, you gotta work with me. Alright, slow down, listen to me…Are you in your vehicle?

Caller: (inaudible)

Operator: Listen to my question. Answer one at a time, don’t say anything more. Are you in your vehicle?

Caller: Yes.

Operator: You are in your vehicle?

Caller: Yes.

Operator: Yes, and your vehicle is where?

Caller: It’s … it’s, it’s in the street, Desiree Drive, behind the school…Alford Elementary.

Operator: So your car is in….okay. And … okay. What kind of vehicle are you in?

Caller: I’m in the… uh….Nissan Quest. Red. But I’m behind …the water threw me behind one of the houses. Um, and the trees started moving and it’s floating.

Operator: …behind one of the houses….started moving and it’s flowing now…

Caller: I didn’t see the road. And my car stopped…

Operator: Stay on the phone with me. Just stay on one second with me okay? I’m going to get further if I can but just stay on the line.

What is your name?

Caller: Seydi , “S-e-y-d-i

Operator: “S-e-y-g-i?

Caller: “S-e-…

Operator: “S” as in Sam or “F” as in Foxtrot?

Caller: “S” like in spider…S…

Operator: What? I’m sorry?

Caller: S…um…Soap

Operator: S as in soap. Okay, I’ve got that. S-e-i…S-e-y-g-i…

Caller: Yes.

Operator: Okay, I’ve got it. What’s your last name?

Caller: Burciaga. B-u-r-c-i-a-g-a (inaudible)

Operator: Okay, m’am. What the cell number you are calling me from?

Caller: 404-210-2998

Operator: Okay, and the house is behind Alford Elementary?

Caller: Well it’s like the fourth house, it’s yellow and in front of the house there’s like a big house…

Operator: Near a yellow house?

Caller: A yellow house…behind the yellow house, but across from there is a like a gray house.

Operator: Okay, all right and your car is wedged in some trees?

Caller: Way in some trees, it sent me all the way to the back of this house, but it’s drowning. It’s almost floating already. I’m in the back…my car is … (crying) Please, come help me…please!

Operator: Alright, ma’am just…stay as calm as possible.

Caller: My car is turning down! Now the wheels is getting up and I’m going to drown.

Operator: Listen to me. You’re not gonna drown. Roll down your windows and if you are able to, get out of your vehicle.

Caller: (inaudible) … but the water…but I’m in the back of my car…(inaudible)…can I break it?

Operator: Ma’am…if you can break it, break it. Do whatever you can to get out of your vehicle.

Caller: Yes, please … inaudible…my car is…

Operator: Okay, it doesn’t matter about your car. What matters is your life…we’re going to save your life…

Caller: (inaudible)…I’m stuck….it’s … the water is too fast!

Operator: Listen…is there any building or anything that you can climb on top of?

Caller: No! Nothing! It send [sic] me in the back of one of the houses and I didn’t even see anything. There’s a lot of trees…

Operator: Alright…

(Sounds of water and thrashing)

Caller: Oh my God! Please help me quickly!

Operator: Ma’am I’m right here…Ma’am you gotta calm down. Work with me…

Caller: It’s taking me down. It’s taking…

Operator: It’s taking you down? Just stay on the phone with me. I’m right here..I’m gonna stay with you.

Caller: Oh! PLEASE! I’m going to drown!

Operator: Okay, listen you are not going to drown. We’re gonna be there for you. Just stay with me okay?

Okay, okay…

Try to grab onto something up above. If you see a tree, if you see anything you can…

Caller: There’s water inside the car…(inaudible)

Operator: Seydi, Seydi, Seydi…stay on the phone with me okay?

Caller: Oh my God, I’m in the car behind the house (inaudible)

Operator: Listen to me. I understand. I hear you. Okay, I’m going to be right here. I’m gonna stay right here with you okay?

Caller: Okay, okay…

Operator: You just stay on the phone with me.

Caller: Okay, please!

Operator: Okay listen to me, is the car still wedged in between the trees?

Caller: I think so, it’s moving but it’s going slowly

Operator: Listen to me though, is it still stuck between the trees or are you moving again?

Caller: No, it stopped a little bit…

Operator: Okay, Seydi I’m right here with you okay?

Caller: I’m trying not to move or it’ll move. I don’t know what’s behind here…

Operator: Okay, I’m right here…

Caller: I don’t know the number of the house I’m …

Operator: Okay…

Caller: It keeps moving…it keeps slowly moving…

Operator: Okay…listen to me. Just try to work with me and stay as calm as you can okay?

Caller: Okay..

Operator: We’re gonna be right here and we’re gonna be a team and I’m gonna try to get you help as soon as I can okay?

Caller: (crying) okay…

Operator: Okay…try not to cry. Listen to me. We’re gonna try to think of something positive right now and we’re gonna try to look outside and be as calm as you can so that we can try to figure out options for us okay?

Caller: Okay.

Operator: Alright, tell me what is around you.

Caller: I don’t see anything. It’s just trees and all water.

Operator: Trees and all water.

Caller: Yes.

Operator: Okay, I’m right here. We’re gonna get you okay? It’s gonna be alright. Just stay right with me.

Caller: Please…

Operator: I know…I know…We’re., we’re…We’ve got the police department coming to you Seydi okay?

Caller: Yes…

Operator: Okay..

Caller: (crying)…I have two children. I don’t wanna…nothing happen to me…(crying)

Operator: Ma’am don’t cry for me okay?

Caller: Okay…

Operator: We’ve gotta look alert, we’ve gotta look around you. Look around you to see whatever we can that’s gonna come up on you that we can try to grab onto if something comes up. Just stay calm and stay alert. I’m gonna be right here with you okay? Just look around, I need for you to constantly be aware of your surroundings because if we can grab ahold of whatever we can grab a hold of okay? We’re going to be a team remember?

Caller: I see a light! I see a light!

Operator: You see a light?

Caller: Yes, I don’t know where…

Operator: It’s okay, honey listen to me. Stay with me…

Caller: But I don’t know if (inaudible) …

Operator: Okay, listen it’s okay Seydi, you gotta stay strong with me okay?

Caller: Yes.

Operator: Stay strong. Look around for me because you’re my eyes. I don’t know what’s there remember?

Caller: It doesn’t matter what I see.

Operator: It does matter what you see because it’s gonna help us to help you okay?

Caller: Oh my God…

Operator: Listen Seydi. Seydi…work with me baby. Work with me. Calm down. Look around you right now. Always keep aware of your surroundings okay?

Caller: Okay…

Operator: I want you to look around you and see if there are any big trees that you are going to float to that you can grab onto.

Caller: I can’t come out from my car. I’m still in the car.

Operator: Okay, baby…I know. I know you’re still in your car and that’s okay. But that’s what I’m asking you. I’m asking you to just look around you. Look around you and make sure you see whatever is around you so I can get people to help you.

Caller: Yes…

Operator: So you just stay right here with me.

Caller: Okay…

Operator: I’m right here with you Seydi. Okay?

Caller: Okay, I’m …

Operator: Okay, you’re good. I’m right here with you

Caller: Okay..

Operator: You just gotta be aware of your surroundings.

Caller: I’m not out of my car…

Operator: I know you’re not out of your car…listen to me Seydi okay?

Caller: Yes…

Operator: Okay, you gotta look outside your windows. I know you’re in your car but there are windows. Look out your windows. Look and see what you see.


Caller: (inaudible)….I’m in the back of my…

Operator: Ma’am I know you’re in the back of your van. Are there not windows in the back of your van?

Caller: Yes…

Operator: Okay, look out the windows of the back of your van and tell me what’s out there.

Caller: It’s the trees around…

Operator: Okay, you see trees…

That’s good, that’s good. You can see the trees. Do you have any…

Caller: My van is full now. I don’t know…

Operator: You think you’ve floated behind the school?

Caller: Yes….(crying)…I think that it is.

Operator: Okay, listen…

Caller: Oh! I hear something! I don’t know …. It’s pushing (knocking sounds)

Operator: Okay, you hear something? Do you think…

Caller: NO! NO! It’s taking me down!

Operator: It’s not taking you down…

Caller: It’s moving. It’s moving…

Operator: Okay, I hear you, your vehicle’s moving. I’m clear okay?

Caller: Okay!

Operator: Listen to me. You gotta work with me okay?

Caller: (crying) okay…

Operator: Just stay calm. You let me know. You look out your window and you tell me what you see.

Caller: It’s just the trees!

Operator: Just trees? You just see trees? Do you still see the school?

Caller: It’s taking too long! Please!

Operator: Listen to me, ma’am.


Operator: We’re coming to you, but you gotta work with me. What do you see now?

Caller: All I see is nothing! (crying, screaming, inaudible)

Operator: Seydi, Seydi…listen to me. Ma’am? You are my eyes. I’m your voice, okay? You’ve got to work with me and you’ve got to calm down.

Caller: I’m drowning now!

Operator: Seydi, listen, you are not drowning. I’m right here with you. I’m right here. What do you see out your window?

Caller: I can’t roll down my window! I can’t….

Operator: I don’t want you to. What do you see? Seydi, what do you see?

Caller: It’s foggy and I can’t see nothing now…

Operator: Your windows are foggy?

Caller: Yes…

Operator: Okay, listen…

Caller: Yes…

Operator: Okay, listen to me.

Caller: I am listening! (crying)

Operator: Okay, you’ve gotta stop crying and work with me. You’ve gotta stay strong. This is what we can do. I’ve got…I can only help you as much as you help me, okay?

Caller: Yes…

Operator: Alright, wipe the windows. Do what you can to try to look out that window and tell me what you see.

Caller: There’s just a lot of water and there’s trees…

Operator: …just a lot of water and the trees but just a minute ago, you saw the elementary school. You don’t see it anymore?

Caller: No…

Operator: Okay…

Caller: No…

Operator: So you’re not wedged between the trees anymore? Your truck is floating?

Caller: I guess…

Operator: The van is floating now?

Caller: It’s floating! It’s getting all the way up. It’s just a little bit of (inaudible) left. (Crying)

Operator: Okay…

Caller: It’s moving again!

Operator: It’s moving again. Okay…you just try to tell me what you see okay?

Caller: Yes.

Operator: Okay, I’m right here with ya. I’m right here with you okay?

Caller: There’s water all over…

Operator: I know, there’s water all over. I know, but we’ve gotta try to figure out what we can do to get you out of your van if there’s nothing further that…if there’s some kind of windows I’m gonna need you to roll. I’m gonna need you to go up to the front of the vehicle to do something…

Caller: I can’t move….(inaudible)…it’s just floating…it’s …

Operator: Seydi … listen…I know that you’re floating. But if we get you to hold on to a tree or if we can get to you hold onto something to prevent your vehicle from….

Caller: I can’t go out of my car…I’m inside! I’m going to drown!

Operator: Seydi, listen to me okay?

Caller: I’m stuck inside my car!

Operator: You’re stuck inside your car. Do you have any kind of sharp object? …

Caller: (Inaudible…screaming and crying)

Operator: Seydi, the more you scream and cry the less I can help you okay?

Caller: PLEASE!

Operator: Listen to me, okay?

Caller: (inaudible)

Operator: Seydi, it’s very important. I know you’re scared baby. I know you’re scared, but you’ve got to be my eyes. I am your ears. I am your link to help. You’ve gotta work with me. You’ve gotta wipe away the tears and ….

Caller: It’s up to my neck now! Crying…

Operator: I know, water is up to your neck now… sighs


I know it is. I know it is baby. I know it’s up to your neck, but work with me okay? Work with me…

Caller: It’s coming in too fast!

Operator: Seydi, I know, but what did I ask you to do? Please, please calm down, okay? Because you are my eyes. Look out that window.

Caller: I can’t…(inaudible).

Operator: Seydi, yes you can. Don’t tell me you cannot. Yes you can…

Caller: But the water is up to my neck!

Operator: Baby, I know it’s up to your neck but unless you work with me…you can do it. There’s nothing you can’t do right now. I am right here with you. I am willing your way to do that. Do you understand me?

Caller: Yes!

Operator: Come up to the front of your vehicle if you have to, to look out the window.

Caller: The car is flooded already. I’m in the back of my car.

Operator: I know you’re in the back of your car Seydi. I know you are…

Caller: The flood is all the way up. It’s all the way up!

Operator: Listen baby, I know. We’ve got to try to find something…whether you can kick your windows….whatever you can do…you can get your keys … you can knock out that window okay?

Caller: Okay…

Operator: We can do something…get something for me…

Caller: Okay…

Operator: Work with me. Get through the water. Get to what you can get to baby. We’re going to do this okay?

Caller: Okay! There is more, please!

Operator: Okay, alright…listen...


I know, I know… that’s why we’re gonna bust out that window...


No baby, listen.

Caller: PLEASE!!

Operator: I know…listen, listen…bust it out. Get me the keys…


Operator: Listen, you can baby, you can…stop screaming. You can do this. They are right there, but you gotta work with me okay?

Caller: (Crying) yes….

Operator: Okay, listen to me. They’re not far…

(Inaudible screams)

Seydi, I can get them to you but you gotta work with me and you gotta stop telling me you can’t…get me the keys.

Caller: It’s too full! (inaudible)

Operator: You’ve gotta get something to get outta your car. Seydi, listen to me.

(Inaudible screams)

Listen to me, stop screaming.

Caller: (screams) Please!

Operator: I know, but listen…

Caller: I’m drowning! Oh no! I’m scared! I don’t wanna drown! PLEASE!

Operator: Stop screaming and let me help you

Caller: Oh my God!

Operator: Seydi, listen! (dial tone)

Listen to me…Baby listen, don’t hang up the phone. Seydi, don’t hang up the phone…

Phone disconnects.

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