Bradford women rescued from car after crashing into retention pond

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Sheriff Smith with the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office stated that three good samaritans and two Bradford County Sheriff’s employees are credited with helping rescue two elderly women from a car in a retention pond on Tuesday.


Around 1:10 p.m., several calls to 911 were received reporting a single car into a retention pond at the Sonic Restaurant at 825 N Temple Avenue. Witnesses told police that a car exited the drive-through and crashed through a chain link fence, landing in roughly up to three feet of water.

Several bystanders, including Corbett Rhoden who was eating lunch at the time, William Lusignan, an employee of the restaurant, as well as Kenneth Lowe, immediately jumped into the water.

When they jumped to the rescue they found Delma Crawford, 81, and Deborah Sapp, 81, in the vehicle as it was filling with water. They quickly helped the women from the car.

Sheriff’s Office employees Lt. Shaun Burgin and Michael Heeder, the first to arrive, carried the women up from the pond to the picnic tables and checked them for injuries as Starke Police Department, Starke Fire Rescue, and Bradford County Fire Rescue arrived.

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The two occupants of the car were transported to a local hospital as a precaution. No one else was injured.

An investigation by Starke Police revealed that Crawford inadvertently hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal, causing the car to launch into the water. There were no serious injuries, and the vehicle was quickly removed from the pond. No citations were issued.

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