Tampa deputies pull woman from submerged car.

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TAMPA, Fla.  A Tampa woman found herself trapped inside her submerged car on New Year’s morning, but survived the incident thanks in part to two sheriff’s deputies.

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Amanda Antonio was traveling eastbound on foggy Interstate 4 when another driver cut her off as they approached the U.S. Highway 301 exit ramp, troopers said. The 20-year-old lost control of her 2008 Toyota Scion, veered off the highway, and overturned into a deep, water-filled ditch.

Officials with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said she found an air pocket and called 911. Initially, deputies said they couldn’t find her due to thick fog conditions. The first deputy on scene ventured into the ditch, and said the water was up to his chest.

Danny Alvarez, a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office, said the water level was rising inside the vehicle as first responders tried to reach her.’

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New Year’s rescue: Deputies pull woman from submerged car

A deputy eventually spotted the rear of her car sticking out of waist-deep muddy water, Alvarez said. He calmed Antonio and kept her in an air pocket until the sheriff’s dive team members arrived to help.

“It was thick, disgusting muddy water that came up to your chest and was very difficult to move through,” said Sullivan, a member of the dive team.

Sullivan carried an oxygen tank in case the air pocket disappeared before they could free Antonio. He said he could only pry the driver’s side door open a few inches because it was encased in mud. Pollack eventually got the passenger door open.

  • Publisher: WCMH
  • Date: 2019-01-01T16:50:50+00:00
  • Author: The Associated Press
  • Twitter: @WCMH
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

New Year’s Good Fortune: Woman Pulled From Submerged Car Just in Time

TAMPA, Fla. ‘ A woman whose car flipped off Interstate 4 into a water-filled ditch on a foggy New Year’s morning is lucky to be alive after being pulled to safety just in time, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Troopers said Amanda Nicole Antonio, 20, was traveling on eastbound I-4 near the Florida State Fairgrounds just before 4 a.m. when she was cut off by another vehicle and lost control. They said her 2008 Toyota Scion then ran off the roadway and flipped over into a deep ditch full of water.

As the water rose in her car, Antonio was able to find a bubble of air and stayed on the phone with dispatchers for about 20 minutes, Hillsborough County deputies said.