What to do if you're trapped in a car trunk

Georgia woman escaped after being shot, locked in trunk

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Being locked in the trunk of a car is a nightmare that no one should ever have to face. However, for 51-year-old Sandra Williams, the nightmare became reality. 

Sandra Williams is in critical condition after being shot and then locked in her trunk Monday night. She managed to call 911 while she was in the trunk after pulling an emergency release to get out of the car. 

Authorities said Sandra Williams was not alone. They later found Tim Williams, dead in the front seat of the same car. Both were shot by 41-year-old Leon Pugh. Pugh was arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault. 

News4Jax Crime and Safety Analyst Gil Smith said there are some things you need to know, to make sure you are able to get out alive. 

  • Remain quiet and calm so that the person who put you in the trunk will not hear that you are trying to escape.
  • Punch out the tail light so you can wave your hand out of the back of the car so anyone who is trailing behind the car sees you-- try to get someone's attention.
  • Some cars have levers that have access from the trunk to the backseat. Pull that lever, push forward and wiggle out. 
  • If the car was made after 2002 it should have a trunk release button, usually located in the middle of the car that lights up green.

There are also ways that you can help police identify the kidnapper.

"Inside the car you want to scratch. Scratch the person who is trying to get you in the car. You want to fight for your life.  Their DNA will now be under your nails. And the police need that so it can be retrieved to find out who was actually there. Same thing with scratching the car. You want to scratch the seat, the head arrest. Get some of the fibers from the car that would match up just in case the person says I never had that person in this car," said Smith.

Finally, if you are ever trapped inside the back of a car, be sure to identify any landmarks and listen to people, places and phrases that the driver might use.