SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – While one driver narrowly escaped danger in Sunrise, tragedy could not be avoided in Pembroke Pines as vehicles plunged into water in separate incidents in Broward County.
Wednesday morning, good Samaritans jumped to the rescue to save a man whose car drove into a Sunrise canal, near Oakland Park Blvd and Hiatus Road. Area doctor Paul Esposito lost control and crashed through a metal barrier along the side of the road and went into the water.
“Thank God the car was floating and we could get closer to the side,” said Arturo Olivares. “And then the car started diving in. So we took the guy out from the window.”
About five people helped pull him out.
“I just jumped in the water to get the guy out of the vehicle. And fortunately, we were able to do that and he came out alive,” said Jose Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he could touch the bottom of the canal and pulled Esposito through the window of his submerged Hyundai.
“I’m not actually a good swimmer, but that was something, a reflex,” he continued. “I knew something was wrong, I knew I needed to help. I needed to help because, I mean, we made a difference today. We saved somebody’s life and that doesn’t happen every day.”
Hours later, things took a desperate turn in Pembroke Pines, as another crash sent two people into a lake in an overturned SUV.
It happened in front of the Southwest Regional Library and Pines Charters School off Sheridan Street.
“I saw the car go through this grass area, and go into the lake,” said a student. “My heart was racing, oh my God.”
Police said a female passenger, identified as Joan Rose, 61, did not make it. A male driver, who suffered a medical episode, identified as Sandy Rose, 63, is in critical condition.
Video taken by witnesses along the embankment showed the rescue attempt.
“A patron jumped in before rescue here, trying to get them out of the car,” said Ann, who works in the library and watched divers pull the victims out. “It was scary and school was just about to let out, as well, so it’s a lot of kids here in the area witnessing. Parents witnessing, who were picking up their kids.”