PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A woman was rescued by bystanders after she drove her SUV into the Schuylkill River on Sunday, witnesses tell CBS3. Police say the incident happened at approximately 4:05 p.m. in Fairmount Park in the city’s East Falls neighborhood.
Authorities say they responded to several reports of an SUV in the Schuykill River with the driver stuck inside at Kelly Drive and Midvale Avenue.
Witnesses tell CBS3 that bystanders dove into the river to rescue the driver from her SUV.
Easter Sunday turned frightening for dozens of onlookers on Kelly Drive as they watched in horror as a black SUV floated in the Schuylkill River.
“It was creepy,” witness Angel Zayas said. “She was just sitting there like this, like looking at people, everybody screaming at her. The car was just floating, floating, floating, floating, sinking, slowly sinking.”
Witnesses say the woman appeared to have intentionally driven the SUV into the water.
Multiple good Samaritans tried to help.
“A guy came up the road and parked and jumped in the river along with three or four other guys,” witness Joey Wilhite said. “They pounded the windows with four-way wrenches, anything they could use to try to break the window.”
Wilhite witnessed the entire incident.
“Didn’t seem like she wanted to get out and it looked like it was kind of a suicide,” Wilhite said.
A man jumped into the river with a tire iron and eventually broke the glass window.
“It was startling at first because your first instinct is to save them,” Brett Hayes, another witness, said, “and then you get upset because now you’re like, ‘I hope they make it out.'”
“When we saw the people try to save her,” Hayes added, “she wouldn’t let them in. We saw the car go down and luckily, they got her out right at the last minute.”
A nearby boat placed the woman inside and took her to safety.
As for the good Samaritans, the witnesses had a common belief.
“They’re heroes,” Hayes said. “I believe they’re heroes.”
“I talked to one of the guys,” Wilhite said. “He said he only did what anybody else would to, so praise to him.”
The woman is recovering at a nearby hospital.
There is no word on what caused the woman to drive into the river.