MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A 69-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was pulled from a Lexus SUV that was submerged in a canal Sunday afternoon in Miami Gardens.
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alex Camacho said the silver Lexus driven by Gladysse Paul was traveling south on Northwest 27th Avenue near Northwest 203rd Street when it collided with a red Jeep.
Camacho said the Lexus then crashed into a chain-link fence, collided with a black Hyundai and plummeted into the canal.
The victim's son, Rodly Lormestoire, believes his mother may have had a medical issue that led to the crash.
A parking lot attendant, followed by two civilians, jumped into the water. First responders who were in the area because of the Miami Dolphins game at nearby Hard Rock Stadium immediately followed, jumping into the canal to help the driver, using a window-punch hammer to free her.
"This is why all of us become officers, just to take action and help somebody in need," FHP Lt. Luis Darcia said.
Camacho said two state troopers, a Miami-Dade police officer and a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue diver all went into the water and helped free the woman.
FHP Cpl. Rudy Regis said he was nearby and heard the crash, but a passerby pointed him to where the SUV had gone into the water.
"It felt like an eternity," Regis said, recalling how time seemed to slow down once he was in the water. "At that point, that's when the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue diver went in."
Paramedics began CPR on Paul once she was pulled to shore.
She was taken to Aventura Hospital, where she remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma.