Two women were rescued by bystanders after their car went into the New River in Fort Lauderdale early Friday morning, officials said.
The car crashed into the river at 450 Southwest 7th Avenue around 4:30 a.m., Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Tim Heiser said. Deputy Chief Heiser said the driver though they were getting on to an I-95 on-ramp and wound up driving into the water.
“Woke up and I was in the water,” said Angela Connelly, the passenger in the car said. “I got out and I swam, and he helped me get out of the water. I was dead asleep, dead asleep.”
Some Good Samaritans in a nearby boat pulled the two women to safety. One woman was treated at the scene and the other was taken to Broward Health Medical Center with minor injuries. They're expected to be ok.
"The people that assisted them out are heroes for risking their lives to go into this water," Heiser said.
Gillis Tremblay said he was sleeping on a boat nearby when the car went into the river.
"We just heard the screams and felt the waves and jumped into the water," Tremblay said. "Anybody else would do it."
The strong outgoing tide carried the car about 200 feet from where it entered the river at Cooley's Landing, Heiser said. A woman with dive-rescue experience dove into the stiff current and swam out to the driver who was hanging on to a piling under the bridge.
“I’m happy that I did it. I’m not comfortable with the attention,” the dive-rescuer, who asked to remain Anonymous, said. “I feel like I did what I was supposed to do.”
"They're very lucky, at this time of the day we have a very strong outgoing tide," Heiser said.