By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida – An unconscious driver trapped in a flooded vehicle was rescued after bystanders and a sheriff’s deputy waded into a murky Florida canal to put her car back on its wheels.
The driver’s identity has not been released, but the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said she is in a critical condition in hospital.
It happened around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 5 on Maytown Road in Oak Hill, 100 miles northeast of Orlando.
Bodycam videos show that a Volusia County sheriff’s deputy arrived and found the driver’s side of a vehicle submerged in approximately four feet of water, and an “unresponsive” woman tied up inside.
Two people are seen trying to overturn the vehicle, and the deputy quickly walks into the canal and joins them.
“Can we get this thing flipped or not?” he asks. “We need some help pushing.”
A growl is heard as several sets of hands push against the roof of the vehicle. It begins to move slowly and falls back on its wheels into the water.
The deputy then works to free the driver from a tangle of seat belts and deployed airbags.
Several first responders carry the driver back to the road, where the Volusia County Fire Department waited with a stretcher.
“CPR was performed on the (patient) and the heart rate was reduced,” the Volusia County Professional Firefighters Association reported. “Prayers for the patient as she fights for her life.”
Volusia County officials have not identified the deputy involved, but have credited “Volusia County deputies, witnesses and firefighters” with rescuing the driver.
The bodycam video was shared to Facebook on July 6, where it had been viewed 53,000 times and received nearly 2,000 comments and comments by July 8.
Many of the commentators called the group’s actions heroic, courageous and inspiring.
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