Woman reported dead during Michigan flood is alive

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Woman Reported Dead in Michigan's Flooding Is Alive

A woman who city officials said died in massive flooding this week in the Detroit area has a message to share.

"I'm alive," Jena David says.

Woman reported dead during Michigan flood is alive
In a photo provided by the Michigan State Police, a diver with the department's Underwater Recovery Unit inspects a vehicle, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, submerged on a Detroit area freeway a day after heavy of rain. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police)
A stranded motorist sits on top his car as he awaits rescue from the flooded Southfield Freeway, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Dearborn, Mich. The Michigan State Police issued an advisory Monday evening, urging drivers to avoid non-essential use of all metro Detroit freeways after heavy rain and thunderstorms left roads flooded and impassable. Interstate 75 at I-94 in Detroit has been shut down in both directions, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of Interstate 75 in Hazel Park, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. Fearing more motorists could become stranded a day after a storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in some places in and around Detroit, the state warned commuters against driving in affected areas Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
This aerial photo provided by Michigan State Police shows flooded interstate 696, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, a day after several inches of rain fell in the Detroit area. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police)
Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of Interstate 75 in Hazel Park, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. Fearing more motorists could become stranded a day after a storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in some places in and around Detroit, the state warned commuters against driving in affected areas Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Cars are stranded along a flooded stretch of Interstate 75 in Hazel Park, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. Fearing more motorists could become stranded a day after a storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in some places in and around Detroit, the state warned commuters against driving in affected areas Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Water floods the intersection of Interstates 75 and 696 in Hazel Park, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. Fearing more motorists could become stranded a day after a storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in some places in and around Detroit, the state warned commuters against driving in affected areas Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Water floods the intersection of Interstates 75 and 696 in Hazel Park, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. Fearing more motorists could become stranded a day after a storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in some places in and around Detroit, the state warned commuters against driving in affected areas Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
ROYAL OAK, MI - AUGUST 12 : A vehicle sits submerged in water along I-75 August 12, 2014 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Severe rain from yesterday's storm flooded local streets, highways, and homes in the Detroit Metropolitan area experiencing the worst flash flooding in decades. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
ROYAL OAK, MI - AUGUST 12 : A vehicle sits submerged in water along I-75 August 12, 2014 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Severe rain from yesterday's storm flooded local streets, highways, and homes in the Detroit Metropolitan area experiencing the worst flash flooding in decades. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
ROYAL OAK, MI - AUGUST 12 : A vehicle sits submerged in water along I-75 August 12, 2014 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Severe rain from yesterday's storm flooded local streets, highways, and homes in the Detroit Metropolitan area experiencing the worst flash flooding in decades. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
ROYAL OAK, MI - AUGUST 12 : Vehicles sit submerged in water along I-75 August 12, 2014 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Severe rain from yesterday's storm flooded local streets, highways, and homes in the Detroit Metropolitan area experiencing the worst flash flooding in decades. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Stranded motorists look over flooded vehicles, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Dearborn, Mich. The Michigan State Police issued an advisory Monday evening, urging drivers to avoid non-essential use of all metro Detroit freeways after heavy rain and thunderstorms left roads flooded and impassable. Interstate 75 at I-94 in Detroit has been shut down in both directions, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
HAZEL PARK, MI - AUGUST 12: Michigan State Police Officers check a flooded underpass along Interstate-75 and Interstate 696 for vehicles and victims August 12, 2014 in Hazel Park, Michigan. Sever rain from yesterday's storm flooded local streets, highways, and homes in the Detroit Metropolitan area experiencing the worst flash flooding in decades. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
HAZEL PARK, MI - AUGUST 12: Michigan State Police Officers check a flooded underpass by boat along Interstate-75 and Interstate 696 for vehicles and victims August 12, 2014 in Hazel Park, Michigan. Sever rain from yesterday's storm flooded local streets, highways, and homes in the Detroit Metropolitan area experiencing the worst flash flooding in decades. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 12: Motorists queue in floodwater on Detroit's I-75 overnight after heavy rainfall affected travel routes on August 12, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Four inches of rain deluged the city in a matter of hours and caused widespread flooding. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 12: Motorists queue in floodwater on Detroit's I-75 overnight after heavy rainfall affected travel routes on August 12, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Four inches of rain deluged the city in a matter of hours and caused widespread flooding. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by the Michigan State Police, a Michigan State Police trooper works with a propane safety expert to retrieve propane tanks from the Muskegon River in Osceola County, Mich., as part of flood-recovery efforts. As of Saturday, April 19, 2014, more than 40 tanks have been retrieved from the river. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police)
In this photo provided by Duane Parry, Michigan City Common Council President Duane Parry, left, and LaPorte County Surveyor Tony Hendricks dig a trench from Lake Henry to a storm water inlet in hopes of lowering the lake level in Michigan City, Ind. on May 11, 2014. Several residents near the city-owned lake are contributing wet basements to the overfilled drainage lake. (AP Photo/Provided by Duane Perry)
In this undated photo provided by the Michigan State Police, Trooper Rob Glentz of the Michigan State Police assists local officials and propane safety experts to safely retrieve propane tanks from the Muskegon River in Osceola County, Mich., as part of flood-recovery efforts. As of Saturday, April 19, 2014, more than 40 tanks have been retrieved from the river. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police)
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Warren Fire Chief David Frederick had said someone pulled a Sterling Heights woman from her car Monday and carried her into a nearby business. She was unconscious when firefighters arrived and placed her in an emergency vehicle. City officials said the woman died.

But, as it turns out, David, 30, regained consciousness in her hospital bed. Doctors discharged the Wayne State University psychology student, and her father drove her home.

David saw a news report about a 30-year-old woman who had died after being carried into a Buddy's Pizza location by an unknown man.

Then, it dawned on her: "They're talking about me. Everyone thinks I'm dead," she told The Detroit News ( http://bit.ly/XppB8P ).

"Now, my friends don't believe me when I tell them I'm the girl who supposedly died at the Buddy's Pizza," she said, calling it "a strange kind of feeling."

In the confusion, officials mistakenly reported the death, said Warren Deputy Police Commissioner Louis Galasso.

"I got the information from the fire department that the woman had died, and then I relayed it to the media," Galasso said. "It wasn't our case, but that's what we were told.

"Then (on Thursday), I got a call from our fire commissioner, who tells me: 'You know that lady who died at Buddy's? Well, she just walked into Buddy's looking for her property. She's not dead. She wanted to know if anyone had her purse.'"

Two people died in the flood: Julia Sarno, 100, who drowned in the water-filled basement of her Warren home; and an unnamed 68-year-old Warren man who died while pushing his car on a flooded Oak Park street. Those deaths have been confirmed by coroners.

David said she would like to meet the man who possibly saved her life by pulling her out of the car as well as the others who aided her in the restaurant.

"God bless you," she said of the stranger. "I'm very grateful that you were there."

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