IFD crews rush to rescue woman who crashed car into icy pond


Courtesy: IFD

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –  A woman called for help, as the car she was driving sunk into a retention pond on New Years Eve. At last check, she’s in critical condition at Eskenazi.

“Dispatch had been on the phone with the person in the car and the call dropped as soon as she started to go under the water,” IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith said.

Reith says the woman called 911 around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, from inside the car, after it broke through the icy pond at the Sundance Apartments off of Mcfarland Boulevard on the south side.

Officials say the dispatcher told the woman that help was on the way, as several other bystanders had called for help as well.  They say the dispatcher was trying to guide the woman to an exit, as she repeatedly stated, “it’s filling up” and “it’s cold.”

One minute and 45 seconds later — the phone disconnected.

IFD’s dive team started gearing up en-route so they could get in the water as soon as they arrived. Those divers found the car about 20 feet from land and 12 feet down in the water. Divers had to punch the sunroof of the car to break through the glass and grab the woman who was trapped inside.

“It’s  unclear as to how or why she was on the ice, but she came from a parking lot area, got onto the pond somehow and drove about 150 yards before, either she realized she was on the pond, or she was driving and the pond just broke through, we’ll never really know until we can talk to her,” Reith said.

The woman’s name has not been released.  The dive team searched for more people, but no one else was found.

After rescuing the woman, divers tried to get the car out of the water, but had to stop because their gear froze. Crews plan to try again later, but say it still may be too dangerous to pull the car out on Monday.

“It’s cold weather, cold water, we’re all hoping for the best, She still remains in critical condition and the divers just did a heck of a job, everybody here worked really hard to get this woman out of the water,” Reith said.

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