EVESHAM, N.J. (CBS) – A careening car led to a crash at a popular shopping center in Burlington County and led to the death of an elderly woman.

The woman lost her life when her car veered off Route 73 and landed in the retention pond at the Promenade Shopping Center in Marlton.

The driver behind the wheel of the blue Jeep Cherokee wasn’t conscious or alert when rescuers finally got to her. Police said she was trapped inside, her seatbelt on and her windows up. By the time help arrived, her car was completely submerged.

Sgt. Joseph Friel with the Evesham Township Police Department said, “It was so submerged that when we stood on top of it, the water was still up to our waist and we were on the roof of the vehicle, not the hood, the roof.”

Sgt. Friel was the second officer to jump in. Along with firefighters, they took over the scene from at least one eyewitness who tried to save the woman to no avail.

“All the windows were up and they were locked. So it took a little while to break the windows out,” Sgt. Friel explained.

Police responded to frantic 911 calls shortly before 4pm Tuesday afternoon. According to eyewitnesses, the driver was heading north on Route 73 when for some reason she lost control and careened off the road.

“She went off the road. It doesn’t appear any other vehicles were involved at this time. I guess the lake is approximately in the range of fifty feet off the highway,” Sgt. Friel said.

Investigators are now trying to reconstruct the accident byexamining the tire marks and studying the road conditions to try to figure out what could have gone wrong.

Sgt. Friel added, “The water was definitely murky. You couldn’t see anything in the water. It was cold but it wasn’t too rainy at that point.”

As of Tuesday night, police said they had not located the victim’s family so they could not release her name. When asked if it was possible the accident could have been the result of some type of a medical emergency, police said, their investigation is continuing.

Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

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