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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Video: Woman Moments from Drowning in Sinking Car, Then Police Arrive and Break Back Window

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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.

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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.”

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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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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking