Video: Police save driver from submerged car in northern NY

Body camera footage released by New York State Police shows the dramatic rescue of a woman as the car she was driving sank into a pond in New York’s North Country on May 7, leaving her submerged inside.

Police said in a press release that the rescue happened in Evans Mills, a village in Jefferson County, after the woman’s 2010 Ford Explorer veered off a road, broke through a guidewire and a six-foot chain-link fence before crashing into the water.

According to police, Evans Mills Assistant Fire Chief John Russel and Trooper Christopher J. Hardy swam through the pond to the vehicle and found the woman was submerged up to her shoulders inside the vehicle and unable to move. They made several efforts to pull the woman out through different windows but, as they did so, the vehicle shifted and "the front compartment filled with water submerging the driver," police said.

Hardy climbed on top of the vehicle where "could see the driver’s hair floating to the glass of the sunroof" and, using a steel pole, smashed through the sunroof, allowing him and Russel to pull the woman out to safety.

"After holding her breath for about 20 seconds the driver was removed conscious and alert," the police press release said.

Police said the woman, named as 61-year-old Joanne Tanner from Evans Mills, was treated for hypothermia and minor lacerations before being released from the hospital. "She was subsequently arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 1st degree (E-felony), and speeding," authorities said.