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A Texas motorist was on the phone with loved ones as floodwaters swept her off the road to her death

Jolene Jarrell, 60, was driving home when she became a victim of the heavy rain in Mesquite.
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A Dallas woman was on the phone with her husband when floodwaters that inundated North Texas swept her away to her death, authorities said Tuesday.

Ride-share driver Jolene Jarrell, 60, was headed home and told her husband it felt like her vehicle was being "pushed" Monday morning as floodwaters filled the road, Mesquite Police Lt. Brandon Ricketts said.

“According to the family, she was saying she felt like she was being pushed, like someone was pushing her, which was the water pushing her along,” Ricketts said. “You don’t realize how little water it takes to lift a vehicle and put you out, and then it’s too late.”

After the water receded, Jarrell's body was found in her upside-down Hyundai Santa Fe under a bridge just off Military Parkway, east of Interstate 635, a little before 3 p.m., police and fire officials said.

Her car hadn't traveled far from where she lost control to where it was found, Mesquite Fire Chief Rusty Wilson said.

"It was just a few hundred feet," he said.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Jarrell drowned or died from injuries she suffered when the vehicle crashed. The Dallas County medical examiner doesn't expect to have a cause of death for at least eight weeks.

There was virtually nothing Jarrell could have done once the rain started falling, officials said.

"It's hard to find yourself in that situation, and then, what do you do?" Ricketts said. "It's just a terrible tragedy. She just found herself in a situation that no one wants to be in."

Officers were trying to get motorists off the roads Monday morning, but fast-falling rain swept away 15 cars, including Jarrell's, officials said.

Mesquite recorded 12.08 inches of rain Monday, and areas just east of Dallas had 15.31 inches.

"I've been here 16 years, and I've never seen it flood the way it flooded that morning," Ricketts said. "Officers started blocking roadways, but they filled so quickly with water, cars got trapped. She wasn't the only car that got washed away. She was just the only one still in the vehicle."

Brittany Kyle's car stalled out in the water nearby before a big rig driver motioned for her and her two children to take shelter in his cab.

When Kyle learned the same floodwaters had killed a fellow motorist, she broke down in tears.

“It hit me. I cried,” Kyle told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. “I closed my door, and I had to cry. I had to cry because that could’ve easily been us.”