After heavy rains, the Port Orange, Florida, area experienced flooding and higher-than-normal waterway levels.
One woman, a Pizza Hut delivery driver, was driving on Nov. 5 when her car went off the road and ended up in a canal. Her car began to sink.
Good Samaritans showed up and did their best to free the trapped woman, but the doors were locked, and the windows were rolled up. The back of the car was still above the waterline, but the front steadily sank.
The Port Orange Police Department released a bodycam video from one of their responding officers, showing how close a brush with death the woman had.
As the officer approached the scene, he called out to the good Samaritans to ask if someone was still in the car, and they gave the affirmative.
“The car is sinking, and there’s somebody’s inside of it,” the policeman radioed.
A man in the water, who had been trying to help, asked whether or not he should break the window, and the officer gave him the go-ahead while he prepared to enter the water himself.
After plunging into the canal, the officer then immediately broke the back window and directed the woman to climb out the back.
“Climb out the back! Come on!” he said repeatedly.
As the windows are broken, the car sinks rapidly, and the woman starts panicking. Eventually, another responding officer was able to pull the woman through the driver’s side back window.
The woman was then carried to higher ground, where the officers checked to make sure she was not injured.
“Friday night after the heavy rains, a car ran off the road and into a canal, next to Cedar in the Wood,” the Port Orange Police Department posted. “Sgt. Mialki, Ofc. Calenda and Ofc. Brashier responded to the crash and found, that the driver was trapped in the vehicle as it was sinking.
“The Officers entered the water, broke the window, and pulled the driver out of the sinking car. This is another great example of Port Orange Police Officer’s daily commitment to the safety of their community and their willingness to put themselves in harm’s way to protect a stranger.”
Dawn Marie Bryant also commented on the department’s post to recognize her father’s heroic actions.
“My Dad, Jim Small jumped in before the officers and FD arrived,” she wrote. “He went under as soon as he stepped in that water and helped to keep her calm as best he could.”
“A life was saved by many helping hands. Thank you Port Orange PD for being there and all you do everyday! And, to my awesome Dad, who will always be my hero.”
Thanks to some proactive and selfless neighbors and the quick response of the officers, the woman will live to see another day.
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