Three cousins risked their lives to save a stranger’s when they found her trapped in an SUV almost completely submerged in a retention pond on the Seminole Tribe reservation.
By some miracle, the 42-year-old woman was uninjured and refused medical attention. Geno Herrera, Raul Escobar, and Bernabe Martinez were at the right place at the right time Thursday afternoon.
Herrera said they forgot to pick up beer before a football watch party later that night. As they drove down Koowachobee Trail, near Seminole Crossing Trail, Herrera noticed something floating in a retention pond.
Herrera said,, “Literally when we pulled up, we saw the car in the lake. I was like, ‘is that…is something going on in my mind or is that a car in the lake?”
He wasn’t hallucinating, a green SUV with a 42-year-old woman inside was slowly sinking in the deep pond. That didn’t scare Herrera, who pulled over to dive in. As he got closer, he could hear her screaming.
Herrera used all of his strength to break through the window. “The seatbelt was on her so I had to get into the car and break the seatbelt off her. Then I pulled her out,” he said.
Escobar and Martinez rushed in too. They quickly learned the woman couldn’t swim. “She didn’t speak any English. She didn’t know so she just jumped on my back and drowning me. I’m like..Im overwhelmed just trying to breathe,” he saiid.
Esteban said, “We struggled to bring her back. It was hard…really hard.”
But the trio of cousins pushed through and safely got her to shore. Seminole PD said she did not sustain injuries and refused medical attention.
The agency launched an investigation into how the woman got there in the first place.