A first-hand look at last weekend’s daring water rescue

Published: May. 14, 2022 at 2:55 PM EDT
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TOWN OF LERAY, New York (WWNY) - New York State Police have released body camera footage of last weekend’s daring water rescue in the Town of LeRay.

Emergency crews were called to the reservoir off State Route 11 and State Route 26 last Saturday evening where they found an SUV submerged in the water and a 61-year-old woman trapped inside.

Police say she was driving while intoxicated and drove through a chain-link fence surrounding the water.

We get a first-hand look at how first responders pulled off the dangerous rescue.

“Somebody else get over here!”

“Yeah, I’m coming.”

That’s state trooper Christopher Hardy getting ready to head into the water. The front half of the car is submerged and Assistant Chief for the Evans Mills Fire Department, John Russel, already broke open the back window with a steel pole and is in the car trying to rescue the woman.

Suddenly, the car shifted and began to sink further into the water.

“Hey! Chief, get out, get out! Chief, get out!”

Just in the nick of time, Assistant Chief Russel exits the vehicle through the back window, but the woman is still trapped. Moments later, Trooper Hardy smashes open the sun roof with a steel pole and pulls the woman up to safety.

“Nobody else in there right?”

“No one’s in the car.”

The driver, 61-year-old Joanne Tanner, was conscious and alert the whole time. Another state trooper then pulled Hardy and the woman to safety.

“Give me your hand.”

Tanner was treated at Samaritan Medical Center for hypothermia and minor lacerations. She has since been released.

Tanner was arrested for DWI, speeding, and aggravated unlicensed operation.

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