Lake County first-responders and a passer-by helped rescue a woman from her submerged car in Clear Lake on Thursday afternoon.
Sheriff's Lt. Chris Chwialkowski and Deputy Nick La Velle were monitoring the fire dispatch channel in their vehicles when they overheard a 911 call about a car that had crashed into the lake near Highway 20 and Bartlett Spring Road in Nice.
Chwialkowski arrived at the lake two minutes later, quickly followed by La Velle, Lt. Steve Brooks said. Witnesses told them the driver was still in the car, which was about 30 yards from shore and under water.
Brooks said Chwialkowski swam to the vehicle with Northshore Fire Protection District firefighter Laura Carr and an unidentified good Samaritan.
Chwialkowski attempted to open the vehicle door but couldn't because of the pressure against it, Brooks said. He broke a window and pulled out the unconscious victim.
He transferred the woman to Carr, who was standing on the car's roof. La Velle and two other firefighters were able to bring the woman to shore on a special gurney used for water rescues, Brooks said.
The woman was transported by air ambulance to a Sonoma County hospital. Her identity and condition were unavailable Friday.
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