Heroic Durham officers reflect on saving driver, pregnant passenger in sinking car
Posted June 30
Durham, N.C. — Two women were saved Wednesday after a group of Durham police officers jumped into a pond to pull them from a sinking car.
Authorities said Edwoe Mante was attempting to turn into the parking lot of a library at 4505 South Alston Avenue at about 2:20 p.m. when she hit a tree, causing the car to enter the pond.
The driver and a pregnant passenger, Maude Boateng, were trapped inside the car, which was submerged in the water and sinking, police said.
Three Durham police officers - Investigator E.E. Ortiz, Officer K. De La Cruz and Officer A.M. Acker- as well David Pitt, a police applicant riding with De La Cruz, dove into the water and pulled the women to safety.
"We just started running and got into the water," De La Cruz said.
"I could see the car sinking and people pointing to it," Ortiz said.
Each officer was wearing more than 30 pounds of police gear, essentially wrapped in an anchor.
"Next thing you know, I can feel the water rushing through my vest," Ortiz said. "We were swimming."
"Ortiz was able to get the back right door open, and when that happened, the water started to rush into the car, and the car started to sink very rapidly," De La Cruz said.
With moments to spare, the pulled both women to safety.
De La Cruz said police applicant David Pitt was a crucial part of the rescue.
"I plan to write a letter to recruiting on his behalf," De La Cruz said.
Investigator Ortiz said the rescue was a group effort, claiming the incident could have ended much differently if the were there alone.
Thanks to the actions of the officers, neither woman was seriously injured.