Good Samaritans and rescue crews save woman from sinking car

Photo credit: Dana Jensen/The Day

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Two huge boulders now block the opening in the fence at the Eastern Point Beach parking lot where a car jumped the curb, smashed through the fence, and landed in the water.

Photo credit: Dana Jensen/The Day
Photo credit: Dana Jensen/The Day

The 85 year old driver unable to get out as the car starts to sink.

“The water is in the car right now please hurry up,” says a caller on the Groton’s 911 emergency line.

At the same time a few Good Samaritans jumped into action.. quite literally for John Sidlinger of Mystic who jumped into the water.groton water rescue 1

“Can she open the door?” you hear another 911 caller ask the Good Samaritans. “Oh my god and like the water is getting even more rough.”

groton water rescue 2Using a pole Sidlinger smashed the windshield but when the driver couldn’t climb out he held the car in place until police arrived.

“By him holding the car there with the pipe that way preventing her from floating out more and then when he hooked the rope on the car while he was still in the water,” says Grton City Lt. Erick Jenkins. “He got in the water and hooked the car that helped the firemen and the officers keep it in.”

As officers held tight Lt. Jenkins broke the passenger window to free Marie Fitzgerald who had only a few inches of air left in the car.groton water rescue 3

“As soon as we got her out it was a matter of a minute before the car sunk to the ground,” says Lt. Jenkins.

Quick actions by police, firefighters, and Good Samaritans – one in particular – have saved a life.

“What a brave man he was yes,” says Eleanor DiGiangi. “As I said cause there’s always someone around here.”

groton water rescue carThe car which has been removed from the water isn’t in very good shape but News8 spoke with Fitzgerald who says she’s fine and very very thankful.

“In my 27 years it’s the first one I’ve had actually a car in the water with somebody stuck in it,” says Lt. Jenkins.

There was also a first for firefighters.

“It’s nice cause I think the fireman said it was the first time in his 15 years that when they got somebody out everybody clapped,” says Lt. Jenkins.





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