David Chang

Caught on Cam: Good Samaritans Rescue Driver Trapped in Schuylkill River

The dramatic scene played out around Sunday afternoon near Kelly Drive between the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and Columbia Railroad Bridge

What to Know

  • NBC10 obtained video showing Good Samaritans rescuing a woman who crashed into the Schuylkill River.
  • A witness told NBC10 one of the rescuers managed to break into the vehicle by using a tire iron.
  • The woman was taken to the hospital and is doing OK, according to police. One of the rescuers suffered minor cuts.

An Easter miracle was captured on camera as good Samaritans raced against time to rescue a driver trapped inside a rapidly submerging SUV in the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

The dramatic scene played out around 4 p.m. Sunday near Kelly Drive between the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and Columbia Railroad Bridge.

Jennifer Kelly told NBC10 she was walking with her husband and two teen sons when they spotted a woman inside an SUV in the parking lot. The vehicle accelerated and crashed into the river, Kelly said.

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Kelly called 911 while a good Samaritan jumped into the water and swam toward the vehicle as it started to sink. Other witnesses heard the woman banging on the window inside the SUV.

"She started banging for help like she was going to drown," a witness said. "She was literally about to drown."

Kelly told NBC10 she heard another man yell, "That’s my wife," and he jumped into the water as well.

NBC10 obtained video showing both men attempting to break into the vehicle as it continued to sink. A third man with a tire iron then jumped into the river to help.

Kelly told NBC10 the men were able to break open the back window and get the woman out. Others on a dragon boat then arrived and provided life preservers.

In a third video of the rescue, one person yells, "Get out of the car" as the woman screams before being pulled to safety.

Good Samaritans rescued a woman who was trapped in an SUV that was sinking in the Schuylkill River Sunday. NBC10 obtained video of the rescue.

The vehicle completely submerged into the water moments after the woman was rescued, Kelly said. The woman was conscious as police took her to the hospital.

Kelly told NBC10 the woman was the only person inside the vehicle.

"Everybody's OK and it's just what anyone would do," one of the rescuers told NBC10. "Glad we could help."

At least one of the rescuers suffered minor cuts from the broken window but was not seriously hurt, investigators said.

Police called the incident an attempted suicide. The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Crews returned to the river Monday as they attempted to locate the vehicle and pull it out of the water.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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