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Indian River County deputy speaks on saving woman from car in canal

'If we can save somebody's life, it makes the day better,' Cpl. Tony Le says
Indian River County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Tony Le talks about canal rescue
Posted at 10:26 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 09:38:41-04

VERO BEACH, Fla. — The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office released body-camera footage of the moment a woman was rescued from a car that crashed upside down in a canal.

Cpl. Tony Le, a six-year veteran with the sheriff's office, spoke to WPTV about the ordeal Wednesday is now being called a hero for saving a woman's life.

Body-camera video shows the moment when Le climbed down into the canal to find a woman hanging upside down in her seat belt.

WATCH BODY-CAM VIDEO:

Indian River County deputies, firefighters rescue woman from vehicle in canal

"I couldn't see anything," Le said. "All the airbags deployed. Everything was covered. The only thing I had was her talking back to me. Luckily, she was still conscious."

The crash happened along 57th Street. As the car started sinking into the canal, submerging the woman's head underwater, her leg was caught in the steering wheel.

"Kind of hit you there, when you know everything is fine until it's not fine," Le said. "And then, you know, we do our best to figure out the situation and go from there."

Indian River County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Tony Le talks about canal rescue
"If we can save somebody's life, it makes the day better," Indian River County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Tony Le tells WPTV after recalling efforts to rescue woman from canal.

That's when he used a knife to cut her loose and lift her head above the water.

Eventually, other deputies and fire rescue were able to pull her out.

"I rolled her over on her side. She started coughing up water," Le said. "I held her hand and told her she was going to be OK and just made sure that she stayed breathing."

Le credits his training and said in his six years with the sheriff's office, this is the third or fourth time he's responded to a car upside down in the canal.

"If we can save somebody's life, it makes the day better," Le said. "It helps us wake up and go to work the next day."

The sheriff's office said the woman is still recovering in the hospital.

"We don't sign up to be heroes. It just comes with the job," Lt. Joseph Abollo said. "Just trying to save lives, prevent you from getting hurt, from losing a loved one, is the ultimate goal."

Indian River County Sheriff's Office Lt. Joseph Abollo talks about canal rescue
"We don't sign up to be heroes. It just comes with the job," Indian River County Sheriff's Office Lt. Joseph Abollo tells WPTV.

Le said he doesn't call himself a hero and gives credit to the other crews for the rescue.

He also said the fact the woman was wearing her seat belt probably helped save her life.