Authorities credit a group of painters for saving a woman after she drove into a retention pond Tuesday morning in east Orange County.
- Woman crashed into retention pond in Orange County
- 4 people nearby rushed to pull woman from SUV
- FHP troopers said woman suffered medical episode
The rescue happened at about 11 a.m. along Innovation Way near Alafaya Trail, across from Avalon Park.
"I was on the phone ... on the corner of the pond, saw the lady jump the curb and jump over the wall behind me and land in the middle of the pond," said Shane Fahey, who helped pull the woman from the pond. "And at that point, you run and help her."
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said the woman, 66-year-old Usha Persuad, was driving all over the roadway and likely suffered a medical episode, which caused her to drive her SUV straight into the water.
"The door was unlocked, but we couldn't get it open because of the pressure of the water," said Bucky Montiel, who helped save the woman.
According to a report, four people nearby rushed into the pond and got to the vehicle before it was completely submerged. Fahey was the one who broke the driver's side window and pulled Persuad from the vehicle, troopers said.
Added Fahey: "Got the window down and at that time, the car started submerging under. (We) cut the seatbelt out and pulled her out from the window."
Montiel said that after they got the woman out of the vehicle, they swam her out of the water, laid her down and watched as she regained consciousness.
Troopers said Persuad was taken to Florida Hospital East in stable condition.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office's dive team helped a tow truck remove the completely submerged vehicle from the pond.
"God has a path for everybody, and me being here to help — her unfortunately having the incident and the accident — but at the end of the day, I'm glad that me and Shane were able to save her and go a good deed and help her out," Montiel said.
Fahey agreed and reiterated he was in the right place at the right time.