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‘Please don’t let me die’: UBC student plunges into Skagit River following bridge collapse

“What do you say at that point? Please don’t let me die,” Bryce Kenning told a King reporter on Friday, one day after plunging nose-first in his car into the Skagit River.

Kenning, 20, who plays hockey at the University of British Columbia, was driving across the I-5 Skagit River Bridge on Thursday night when the bridge deck gave way under his car.

“The first thing I tried to do was get out of my driver’s side door, and it wouldn’t open,” he said. “At this point it was almost completely submerged in water. Second thing was the windshield, I tried to kick it out, but that was almost completely submerged in water as well.”

Kenning was able to climb out of the window on to the roof of his orange Subaru and waited for the rescue boats.

Watch: Investigators trying to determine cause of bridge collapse in Washington state. 

“When I first hit the water it was a panic, you know?” he said. “Immediately you just want to get out.”

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“I had so much adrenaline going at that point, the temperature didn’t even bother me, at first,” Kenning said. It was when he was waiting for 45 minutes for rescue that he began to feel the cold.

“I started shivering and shaking uncontrollably, that was pretty scary.”

He has some bumps and bruises and a possible concussion,  but otherwise he is fine.

Three people went into the water that night, and all three were rescued and taken to hospital.

“Walking away from something like that with that little wrong with you is pretty miraculous,” he said.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee addresses the media at the scene of a bridge collapse into the Skagit River on Interstate 5 on May 23, 2013 near Mt. Vernon, Washington.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee addresses the media at the scene of a bridge collapse into the Skagit River on Interstate 5 on May 23, 2013 near Mt. Vernon, Washington. Getty Images
People look on after the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013.
People look on after the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013. AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Rick Lund
A truck is seen in the water after a portion of the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed into the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013.
A truck is seen in the water after a portion of the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed into the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Everett Daily Herald, Jennifer Buchanan
Washington bridge collapse
A boat cruises past the scene of a bridge collapse on Interstate 5 on May 23, 2013 near Mt. Vernon, Washington. 1-5 connects Seattle, Washington to Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
A hover craft crew examines a upside down car as they look for victims after a portion of the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed into the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013.
A hover craft crew examines a upside down car as they look for victims after a portion of the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed into the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Everett Daily Herald, Jennifer Buchanan)
A portion of the Interstate 5 bridge is submerged after it collapsed into the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013.
A portion of the Interstate 5 bridge is submerged after it collapsed into the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday, May 23, 2013.
Bryce Kenning's car in the water.
Bryce Kenning's car in the water. AP Photo/Joe Nicholson