Sacto 9-1-1
March 25, 2013
CHP releases 911 audio of woman who drove car into river and drowned

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The California Highway Patrol today released the audio recording of a woman's 911 call to dispatchers after she had lost control of her car and careened into the Sacramento River earlier this month.

Mussarat Chaudhary, 58, died in the March 13 accident. She told her daughter and then a 911 dispatcher that the brakes on her Toyota Camry didn't seem to be working and she couldn't control the car.

Her family has hired Sacramento attorney Chris Wood of the firm Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora to investigate whether the 2009 Toyota Camry LE she was driving was defective. Toyota had several recalls involving the 2009 Camry, two of which involved issues of the accelerator sticking, according to Wood.

Response from the CHP was delayed due to a language barrier between Chaudhary and the first 911 call taker. Chaudhary spoke English, but her family suspects that in her fear, she reverted to her native language of Punjabi.

In the audio, Chaudhary can be heard saying "car" and "river" in English repeatedly, but had difficulty communicating to the call taker where she had been driving until a translator was brought on the line. The woman also can be heard banging on the window, and the translator told the 911 operator the woman was unable to break the glass.

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