Wis. fire crew saves woman from sinking vehicle

Firefighters swam to the vehicle, which was almost completely submerged and were able to pull the woman, unresponsive and without a pulse, from the backseat


Elizabeth Beyer
The Wisconsin State Journal

MADISON — Madison firefighters swam 20 yards out into Lake Mendota to rescue a woman who was trapped in the backseat of a sinking vehicle Saturday evening, the Fire Department said.

The crew from Madison Fire Department Engine 10 responded to a report of a car rolling into the water at the Warner Park Boat Launch with at least one person trapped at 7:20 p.m., fire department spokesperson Cynthia Schuster said.

Madison police are investigating the incident. Lt. Shannon Blackamore said one woman was in the car, and it doesn't seem like anyone else was involved at this point.

"We're not sure if it was intentional or not," Blackamore said.

As fire crews arrived at 7:25 p.m., the vehicle took on water fast, Schuster said. Madison firefighters could see at least one person trapped in the backseat.

Firefighters swam to the vehicle, which was almost completely submerged. They were able to pull the woman, unresponsive and without a pulse, from the backseat, Schuster said.

Once back on the dock, the crew administered CPR until a medic arrived to provide advanced life support. The woman was taken to a local hospital and the medic crew continued to perform live-saving efforts on the way to the hospital. The victim regained a pulse before reaching the emergency room, Schuster said.

Meanwhile, the Fire Department Lake Rescue Team arrived at the boat launch and performed an underwater search for additional occupants of the vehicle. They confirmed that no other occupants were inside the vehicle.

The car was pulled from the water by a local towing company.

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(c)2020 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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