In March 2017, Brittany Diggs found herself in a terrifying situation, locked inside the trunk of her own car. The 25-year-old nursing student was approached at gunpoint outside of her apartment and forced to drive around Birmingham, Alabama, with her kidnapper attempting to take out cash from ATMs using her pin number.
After various attempts to take out cash, the gunman forced her into the trunk of her car. When they stopped at a gas station, Diggs used the light from her insulin pump to find a latch and pop the trunk from the inside. The daring escape from the moving vehicle was caught on the gas station surveillance camera. Watch below.
Thankfully, the latch that led Diggs to safety is a requirement in all passenger cars since 2001. So how exactly do you find the latch and escape from the inside of a locked trunk?
TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen, with the help of Maj. Hector Llevat of the Miami-Dade Police Department, decided to conduct an experiment. The experiment consisted of several volunteers, including Rossen himself, getting inside of a trunk to see if they too could identify the interior latch and escape from a locked trunk.
The volunteers were not informed to search for a latch before getting inside of the trunk. While some volunteers were able to find the same latch Diggs found and escape, most were not able to find a way out.
Rossen explains that the key to escaping is to know where the interior latch is located, and that the latch glows in the dark. However, the pitch black intensity on the inside of a trunk can make identifying the latch difficult. Watch the video of the experiment below.
In addition to this, Retired Army Special Forces officer Mykel Hawke demonstrated to Rossen and his volunteers how to escape from zip ties.
We hope you don’t ever have to use these escape tactics, but stories such as Diggs’ show that you can never really be too prepared.
Check out the escape latch in your own car trunk!