Strangers help save car accident victim from ditch
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Several people stopped to save a woman who had lost control of her car that landed on its roof in a water-filled ditch.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 27-year-old Phenise Louis was driving southbound on Interstate 95 when, for reasons that aren't yet known, her car careened off the highway, down an embankment and ended up overturned in the ditch.
Michael Clancy pulled over and jumped into the water. "'Help me, Help me,' you know, she was saying. 'Help me, I'm trapped inside, I can't get out,'" Clancy said.
Clancy was on his way to work when he saw Louis' car lose control and overturn. As the car filled with water, Clancy, along with three others, jumped in to save Louis. "It was already filled up, it's upside down, there's only about five or six inches from the top of breathing room," Clancy said. "The whole car was basically submerged."
Due to the car being upside down and stuck in mud, prying the door open became a challenge and took every bit of energy from the rescuers. "Everybody was real quick; the three other guys that showed up and helped me out too. We all kinda pulled together as a team," Clancy said. "Never met each them in our whole life before, but we pulled together as a team to try and save this lady's life on a holiday week."
They helped Louis, conscious yet shaken up, out of the car. Paramedics transported her to Broward Health Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
FHP troopers believe Louis may have been going too fast on a doughnut tire, causing the wreck. They credited Clancy and the other rescuers with saving her life. "She had not much time; plus that canal is dark, it's dirty," FHP Corporal John Baker said. "For her to have visibility or even try to push the door open, she would have had a hard time."
Clancy does not consider himself a hero but just reacted. "I don't know what you really consider a hero. If it's just helping out your fellow human being, then I don't qualify as a hero," Clancy said.
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