Video taken by Burbank firefighters showed the Prius - as some put it - "bobsledding" down the hill, riding the wave of mud.
While it isn't clear whether anyone was there in the vehicle or not while watching the clip, according to the reports by ABC News, a man Franklin and his girlfriend were sitting in the auto when the video was shot. "Barely made it out", he writes alongside the video.
"Realistically we suspect we are going to have the discovery of more people killed in this incident", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a Thursday news briefing, adding that he was hoping to find "miracle" survivors.
Crews on Friday continued to dig through the rubble to look for survivors. With its headlights and windshield wipers on, the vehicle could be seen in the 26-second video going down Country Club Drive surrounded by a rush of mud, water and debris. Franklin explained the scary experience.
"The steering wheel was shaking and we could feel boulders and rocks underneath us", said Franklin. "The brakes didn't work".
Watch Prius Surfs Downhill in Rushing Mudslide
As the were rafted down the hill, Franklin says his girlfriend was screaming at the top of her lungs throughout the terrifying ride.
So far, 17 people have died in the mudslides, and over 40 people are still missing.
The driver said the firefighters failed to capture the panic he and his girlfriend felt at the time. In a video that's now gone viral you can see their Prius surfing down the mudslide. "We know we are lucky this turned out to be a positive story".
Givens said they were hydroplaning.
After months of natural disasters striking Southern California, residents are adding yet another to the list. Neighborhoods below burn area are more susceptible to flooding because vegetation that would normally help absorb rain is stripped away by the fire.