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Strangers jumped into a Florida canal to rescue a woman from her sinking car

A Florida woman had a seizure while driving and drove her car into a canal. Bystanders jumped into action to save her.

Posted: Feb 26, 2020 8:10 AM
Updated: Feb 26, 2020 8:10 AM

Molly Pedrone doesn't remember crashing her white Kia Soul into a Boca Raton canal or being pulled from the sinking vehicle by bystanders who jumped in to save her. But she is grateful.

The 34-year-old was driving home after a work meeting on Sunday, thinking about doing some chores and having lunch when she had a seizure.

"Next thing I know I'm in the water sitting on the bank and someone is asking me if I recognize the picture she was holding," she told CNN. "It was my husband's senior picture, his parents had given it to us not long ago, but I couldn't understand why she had it."

Shawn Turner told CNN he was driving home with his sons when one of them saw the floating car, so they stopped to help. Several people were on the side of the canal and they had already called 911, he said.

"I just kicked off my sweatpants and dove in because you can't swim in sweats," he told CNN.

One of his sons shot video of the dramatic rescue, which shows Turner struggling to get the passenger side window down and climb inside the car.

In the video, the car tilted downward after Turner scrambled in and the window was underwater in seconds.

"Dad, Dad jump out," one of his sons can be heard shouting just before his head popped back above the water.

He said she was "out cold" when he got to the car.

"I saw she was out, laying on her side. It looked like she is having a medical condition," Turner said. "She was not responsive."

Turner was able to unbuckle Pedrone's seat belt and hand her through the window to another man who swam out to help. Turner didn't know the man, but said he later found out his name is Adam Gunn. Another woman also swam out to the car.

They were able to keep Pedrone's head above water, but her arm was tangled in the seat belt, so Turner had to clamber back into the car to free her.

Once she was free, Turner said they swam her to the side of the canal where the water wasn't as deep.

"We didn't want to get her out of the water, didn't know what injuries she might have had," Turner said, so they kept her afloat until an ambulance arrived.

He said she had started coming around and was answering questions as emergency personnel put her on a stretcher and took her to the hospital. Pedrone said she doesn't remember the rescue at all.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue tweeted that the car was submerged when they arrived.

Pedrone told CNN that she's had epilepsy for 13 years, but it's been two years since she her last seizure. She is home from the hospital, but she said she is sore and one of her shoulder hurts. She has two black eyes and bit her tongue in the crash.

"I'm so beat and walking around my apartment like a little old lady, but I'm still here and that's what matters," she said.

She said she and her mom have been in touch with Turner since the accident.

"I don't know where I'd be without him," she said.

Pedrone said she hasn't been able to find Adam Gunn on social media to thank him.

"Shawn is the hero. I'm so very thankful he did what he did, we should all be more like that. Ready to jump into action," she said. "And Adam. All of them that helped me."

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