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Tampa bystanders pull woman from submerged car

Posted at 8:30 AM, Mar 31, 2016

Two passersby dove into a deep pond and rescued a woman from a fully-submerged car in New Tampa on Thursday morning.

Witnesses report the woman took a hard turn off the road, jumping an embankment into the pond. 

Officials identified the driver as Marla Zick, 26, a USF student. She is now at Florida Hospital in Tampa.

She told paramedics we could disclose her history of seizures, which may have led to the crash.

Zick also told paramedics she's looking forward to meeting the people who saved her life.

A spokesperson for Tampa Fire Rescue tells ABC Action News that if not for the quick actions of those witnesses, Zick likely would not have survived.

"Me and my son were pulling up to the stop sign and he just yelled out, 'daddy look at that car' and I looked out and saw the car flying into the water," said Shane Mitchell to ABC Action News.

"I kicked off my shoes and starting swimming as fast as I could," said Mitchell.

Mitchell, and another witness named Lisa Missana, took turns diving under water trying to save the driver.

"We kept trying to get the seatbelt undone and finally got it undone so we went down together and both grabbed her together and you know helped each other rip her out of the car and then we got her on top of the water right away and just swam for the shore as fast as we could," explains Mitchell.

"When I pulled her out just brought her to the side, put her on her left side I knew she needed to go on her left side to start aspirating getting air into her lungs," said Missana.

Zick was unconscious at the time, but later regained consciousness at the hospital

The vehicle has since been removed from the pond.

The car, a silver Mustang, was underwater near the intersection of New Tampa Boulevard and Meadow Pine Drive. 

Zick was released from the hospital on Thursday evening.