How Collier officials say you can save yourself from a canal crash
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.– Bystanders watched as a woman in a red car careened off the road into a pond Tuesday forcing first responders to jump in and save her. This is one of at least three cars submerged in the water this week around Collier County.
Meghan Cooper and her family are staying at a vacation home on St. Andrews Blvd in Naples. They were eating lunch Tuesday afternoon when they looked outside and saw a red car underwater with an elderly woman stuck inside.
“We saw the car in the water and we were like oh my gosh! I hope whoever is in there is okay!” Cooper said.
The woman was taken away in an ambulance. With a wet summer underway, Heather Mazurkiewicz with North Collier Fire and rescue said cars crashing in the water is all too common.
“It’s something that happens in our area more often than not. It is an emergency that happens, especially in South Florida,” said Mazurkiewicz.
Heather says if you find yourself submerged, remain calm, get your seatbelt off and try to get out of the vehicle.
“You have maybe a minute, maybe a minute and a half to undo the seatbelt, get the window down to get your occupants or yourself out,” said Mazurkiewicz. “It has to be a very quick decision to be able to do these and it’s difficult.”
She said to have a tool handy to break your window if needed. If you don’t have the proper tool, she encourages you to get creative.
“You have to think outside the box. If I just came from a meeting and I have a nice pair of heels on, can I take the heel and hit the car right in the middle and break it?” said Mazurkiewicz.
She added if you see someone in need of help, don’t try to be a hero and jump in. Let the professionals handle it.
“Even though people have big beautiful hearts we never suggest putting yourself in danger,” said Mazurkiewicz.
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