INDIANTOWN, Fla. — It was a race against time as a car went careening into a canal in Martin County with a young woman and her dog trapped inside.
Audrey Tucker was heading to McDonald’s to get some food Tuesday night when she says a hog ran in front of her car. She lost control while trying to get out of the way, and she landed in the pitch-black canal off SW Farm Road in Indiantown.
"I braked, and the brakes didn’t work too well in the car, and I pretty much spun out," Tucker said. "I was just worried about my dog because he's my little baby and it's not his fault."
With each passing second, more water started filling Tucker's red Mitsubishi, and her dog, Hendrix, was also inside. Tucker says she tried swimming out through the window but got stuck.
"I'm thinking to myself when the window was going up to my neck, was this thing going to chop my head off? Is this how I'm going to go out," Tucker said.
The 22-year-old woman managed to call 911, and Sgt. Anthony Blachowski with the Martin Co Sheriff's Office was first on scene.
"The only thing I could see was actually the light on her cellphone shining in the distance," Blachowski said.
Blachowski says he took off his duty belt and body armor and jumped into the dirty, cold water, but the clock was ticking.
"The muck was causing the vehicle to sink and essentially it's just a matter of time before the vehicle becomes completely submerged in the water," Blachowski said.
The recently appointed sergeant used a window punch to pull out the glass and rescued Audrey in seconds. Then, Blachowski and Martin County Fire Rescue EMT, Dan McCarthy, also pulled Hendrix to safety.
"I'm forever grateful ... very forever grateful and I appreciate them a lot," said Tucker, who only suffered a mild concussion and a few scrapes.
Blachowski said it’s a good idea for every driver to have a window punch and seat-belt cutter in your car.