Officers’ quick thinking helps them rescue woman from submerged car

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An Indiana woman is thankful for the quick thinking of three Metro police officers after they rescued her from a submerged car Tuesday.

Shanika Parker of Merryville called 911 and told the dispatcher she had fallen asleep behind the wheel and woke up to her car upside down in a retention pond in Indianapolis.

“I was driving home and my car flipped over and I can’t get out and it’s filling up with water,” she said hysterically.

When the dispatcher asked her where she was, Parker didn’t know.

“I’m on… 30th street. I don’t know. I don’t know. Can you please help me?”

Dispatchers kept asking Parker questions in hopes they would find clues like street signs or landmarks to help locate her, but minutes kept passing by and Parker’s car kept filling up with water.

“I need your location. Where are you so I can send you help?” asked the dispatcher again.

Parker responded in panic, “I don’t know. My car is flipped over. It’s filled with water!”

Authorities were able to trace Parker’s cell phone to a general area on the northwest side and began sending rescue crews that way, but the address they had was not exactly where she was.

On their way, three responding officers suddenly realized, Parker might be in a pond near 38th and Interstate 465, where another woman had gone into the water only a few months ago.

“Probably about nine months ago there was a vehicle that went into the same area into the water. She ran off the road into a low water line area,” explained Officer Brian Ramey.

Ramey and Officers Nicholas Wroblewski and Eric Huxley jumped into the muddy water as soon as they got to the scene and pulled Parker out.

“Once she was out, there was, what like, eight inches of room in the car that wasn’t filled with water,” recalled Wroblewski.

“If we wouldn’t have found her, I believe that she probably wouldn’t have been found for days,” added Ramey.

Police believe this key piece of information was what made the difference in saving Parker’s life.

“Running your area, knowing your area is key to the job,” explained Huxley. “That saves a lot of lives and saves a lot of time when you know where you’re going.”

Parker is recovering from minor injuries she suffered during the crash into the pond.

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