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December 25, 2022

Police body cam video shows Lancaster County woman's rescue from sinking car

The incident happened Thursday night in Manheim Township. Dangerous winter weather has wreaked havoc in much of the U.S. over Christmas.

Police Rescues
Pennsylvania Sinking Car Rescue Crimewatch/YouTube

Manheim Township police rescued a 59-year-old woman whose car was sinking in a pond on Thursday night. The incident was captured by body-worn camera footage.

A Lancaster County woman was rescued Thursday night after she accidentally drove her car into a pond in Manheim Township.

The frightening incident happened around 8 p.m. in the area of Oregon Pike and Valleybrook Road, where township emergency services responded for a report of a car in the water. Amid Thursday's heavy rain, the 59-year-old driver had misjudged a turn and careened into the pond, where her car began to sink as she remained inside. There were no other people in the car. 

Body camera footage shows officers jumping into the water and swimming out to rescue the woman in the final moments before the car became fully submerged. At one point, an officer can be heard pleading with the driver to open her door. The woman ultimately was freed from the vehicle and helped out of the water. She was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries.

The rescue can be seen from two different vantage points in the video below.

The Manheim Township police officers who jumped into the water to help the woman were identified as Kyle Carner and Anthony DiClemente.

Wet weather and sub-freezing temperatures have caused problems in Pennsylvania and much of the U.S. in the days leading up to and through Christmas. An event meteorologists call a bomb cyclone has brought arctic air, freezing rain and snowfall to multiple regions, leaving the Philadelphia area with Christmas Eve and Christmas temperatures in the teens and twenties — the coldest for the holidays in more than 30 years.

High winds and extreme cold left more than 70,000 Pennsylvania households without power on Friday, prompting the Pennsylvania Utility Commission to urge consumers to conserve energy in order to reduce strain on the grid. One of largest power grid operators in the eastern U.S. warned of rolling blackouts in 13 states if usage outpaced capacity.

By Saturday morning, the number of households without power had been reduced to about 26,000, including about 5,000 in Lancaster County, PennLive reported. About 1.7 million homes in the U.S. were without power on Saturday morning, but by 1 p.m. on Sunday, that number had come down to about 132,000, according to a national outage map.

At least 26 deaths related to the winter weather have been reported nationwide, including four people who were killed in a pileup of about 50 cars in Ohio. In New York's Erie County, at least seven people were reported dead and about 500 motorists were stranded in their cars Friday night into Saturday morning. National Guard troops were brought in to help in the rescue effort. 

By Sunday morning, 43 inches of snow had fallen in Buffalo, where two people had died as a result of the storm, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

In the Philadelphia region, the weather over the last few days also altered Christmas traditions. The annual river crossing and Washington Crossing Historic Park was canceled Sunday due to high water levels, though the rest of the event's activities on either side of the river continued as planned.

Cold weather is expected to remain in Philadelphia for the early part of the week before temperatures pick up again heading into next weekend. Here's the NWS forecast for the days ahead.

SUNDAY: Sunny, with a high near 27. At night, clear with a low around 15.

MONDAY: Cloudy, with a high near 30. At night, partly cloudy with a low around 22.

TUESDAY: Sunny, with a high near 37. At night, mostly clear with a low around 22.

WEDNESDAY: Sunny, with a high near 43. At night, partly cloudy with a low around 29.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny, with a high near 49. At night, Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, with a high near 54. At night, mostly cloudy with a low around 40.

SATURDAY: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Chance of precipitation is 40%.