WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -
A tired Target employee on her way home from working an early morning Black Friday shift lost control of her vehicle in Pahokee this morning, drove into a canal and nearly drowned.
The woman, who has not been identified, drove into the canal at 7:46 a.m. and called 911. She described to dispatchers her ordeal - her car was sinking into the muck and she could not swim, said Palm Beach County Sheriff's spokesman Teri Barbera.
Deputy Frank Mayo, also on his way home after working his shift, quickly got to the canal near the intersection of Muck City Road and Connors Highway.
He pulled off his gunbelt and jumped in. The desperate 36-year-old woman was clinging to the car which was sinking in water up to 20-foot deep.
She clutched Mayo, dragging him down into the water, he said this morning.
"If I drown, I can't help her," Mayo said.
Mayo pushed her away and came up for air, expecting to see the woman come up as well. When she didn't he searched the water, found her and grabbed hold.
"I reassured her that I wasn't going to leave her," he said. "I couild tell she was really panickly."
Two more deputes arrived and threw a rope into the water, and pulled the two out.
The woman was treated at Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade and released. She declined to speak with reporters.
Target was among retailers that announced it was moving its Black Friday opening time to midnight. Others opting to follow suit included Macy's, Kohl's and Best Buy. Toys R Us bumped its opening to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and Walmart joined the fray with a 10 p.m. opening.
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