Deputies pull woman from overturned car in canal

Deputy Sam Earman, Sarah Privette and Cpl. Michael Dilks PHOTO PROVIDED BY CPL. MICHAEL DILKS

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Two deputies saved a 24-year-old Fort Pierce woman early Tuesday after pulling her from an overturned car in a canal filled with water, officials said.

Deputy Sam Earman, Sarah Privette and Cpl. Michael Dilks

“The engine and the front seats were under water,” said Indian River County sheriff’s Cpl. Michael Dilks, who arrived at the scene along with Deputy Sam Earman. “The back was partially under water. She climbed to the back to get air.”

Deputies identified the woman – who was not seriously hurt – as Sarah Privette.

Dilks was on patrol when he quickly responded to the single-vehicle wreck about 6:21 a.m. Tuesday at 12th Street and Indian River Boulevard. The woman climbed to the back of her white Chevy Malibu after it flipped over, Indian River County sheriff’s spokesman Maj. Eric Flowers said.

“We yelled through the window to her,” Dilks said. “We told her to back away from the window because we were going to break it.”

Dilks and Earman used a SWAT team Halligan bar to smash the car’s back window. The law enforcement officers then rescued the trapped woman, Flowers said.

“It was a good (rescue) effort between deputies and the fire department,” Dilks said.

Dilks said the woman was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. There was nobody else inside the car.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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