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WATCH: Police rescue woman trapped in sinking car

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 12:48 PM EDT
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MUNCIE, Ind. (WTHR) - An 18-year-old Indiana woman is recovering from a terrifying incident when her vehicle crashed into a river, leaving her trapped inside.

Body camera footage from responding police shows how quick-acting officers rescued her.

Three Muncie police officers were on patrol early Sunday morning when a call came in of a car sinking into the White River, with an 18-year-old woman trapped inside.

“I am in the White River and my car’s doors won’t open,” the woman is heard saying in the 911 call. “Again, in the river and I can’t get out.”

Officer Casey Bell was the first to jump in the water, knowing every second counts.

“I tried to open the doors, and the driver’s side and the back driver’s side wouldn’t open up,” he said.

Behind him was Sgt. James Lenox, who handed him a baton to smash the window.

After hitting it four to five times, the window finally shattered, making a hole big enough to fit an arm through. The door still wouldn’t budge.

“Broke all the glass away from the window and reached in to see if she had a seat belt on and thankfully, she didn’t,” Bell said. “So, I was able to pull her out through the window.”

Lenox was also in the water and thought he may have seen a passenger.

By then the car was almost underwater.

“Thinking like, we are going to lose somebody if we don’t do something quick,” Sgt. Gregory Skaggs said.

Skaggs quickly got into the car to check for other people.

“I told Officer Bell, I was like, ‘Grab my legs, I am going in the back to see if I can find anybody,’” he said.

Thankfully no one else was inside.

It is heroic actions like this that officers do every day, never seeking the recognition.

“You talk to any police officer, he’ll be more than happy to tell you he would jump into the water to save somebody,” Lenox said.

Lenox said the current in the river was so strong his body was forced sideways as he held onto the vehicle.

The driver’s injuries are described as non-life threatening.

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