A 24-year-old Ohio woman who was trapped inside a sinking minivan after crashing into a river Sunday night was rescued by quick-thinking police officers who jumped into the cold waters and pulled her to safety.
The woman was driving home from work around 9 p.m. when she fell asleep behind the wheel and drove into the Mahoning River, the City of Alliance Police Department said.
She called for help from her cell phone and a dispatcher sent police and firefighters to the scene. The dispatcher stayed on the line to keep the woman calm.
Police shared bodycam video of the dramatic rescue on Monday.
The woman retreated to the back seat as the water continued to rise inside the vehicle, the video shows.
An officer in the river struggled in the cold water before breaking the rear window with a tomahawk and pulling the woman to the river bank. No one else was in the minivan.
“Her car was almost full of water when the officers pulled her out of the river,” Lt. Dave Bair told Canton-area newspaper The Repository. “They communicated well and got her out of the vehicle. If these officers had been late by 30 seconds, I don't know if she would be here."
Bair told the paper that he believed the river was about 6 feet deep.
Police identified the officers as Christian Tussey, Shane Tallman, Joe Amabeli, Chris McCord and Lee Rose, according to the paper. No officers were injured.
The woman was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released, police said.