82-year-old Sumter County woman rescued from vehicle submerged in pond

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Deputies recounted how they sprang into action to save an elderly woman from a sinking vehicle.

The driver, an 82-year-old woman from Webster, was traveling westbound on Paul Buchman Highway, approaching the intersection of Alexander Street, according to a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.

An elderly woman is recovering after she was seriously injured when her auto drove into a pond on Saturday night. "We went up there lights and sirens", says Deputy Thompson.

"If we hadn't gotten there when we did, I think even 30 seconds would have been too much longer", said HCSO Deputy Thompson.

"I told her she's a tough old lady she appreciated me lightening the mood and explaining that to her cause that was a pretty serious accident, there's no doubt in our mind, we were talking about it, had we been seconds later after that, there's no doubt she wouldn't be here right now", Deputy Migues said. "It wasn't sitting, floating on the water in the middle of this retention pond".

It wasn't the call they were assigned, but Deputies Migues and Thompson were the first responders to Evans' auto in the pond.

"Watching the water rise up to the lady's chin I remember hearing her scream, and one of the most spookiest things she was screaming and all of a sudden the roof kind of went under water and the screaming stopped my partner disappeared in the vehicle", Deputy Migues said. "I could see the water creeping in and I knew at any moment, when there was more water than air, [the SUV] would sink like a rock".

The door was stuck, so Thompson began trying to break the window as the auto continued to sink. He said he had to hit the corners of the window in order for it to break because it was created to withstand a substantial amount of force.

"I hit that window in the corner, and I hit it, and I hit it, and I hit it, and I hit it with all my life, then after about the sixth time it finally shattered", Thompson said.

Leona Evans was inside, and couldn't get out.

"I remember seeing the water creep up to her chin", says Deputy Migues.

"The scariest moment was when her screaming stopped, and the roof line started going underneath the water, and my partner here disappeared in the vehicle with her", Migues said.