FRANKLIN, Ind.– A Franklin woman and her young daughter are safe thanks to several bystanders who helped rescue them after their car crashed into a pond.

Just minutes after Dave Armbruster dropped his eldest daughter off at school, he saw a car slide off the road and into this pond. Without thinking twice, he turned around and jumped into action. 

“When I came up there, the truck was already halfway into the water,” Armbruster said.

The truck slid off the road at the roundabout at State Road 44 and West Jefferson Street. Inside, a frantic mother and her young daughter.

“The truck started filling up with water,” Armbruster said. “It was happening pretty fast.”

Armbruster and another bystander pulled the child out through the driver’s side window. As the truck began to sink, they raced to pull the mother to safety.

“Her feet were kind of stuck because of the bad angle and gravity, I suppose,” Armbruster said. “We were having trouble getting over the window.”

Thankfully, the woman wiggled her way out.

“When she got to land, she just hugged her daughter,” Armbruster said. “She was crying.”

More than half a dozen bystanders in total stopped to help. Franklin Fire Chief Joshua Snyder says the outcome easily could have been different without their quick thinking.

“The right time of day with the right things that happened,” Chief Snyder said. “And the right people there.”

Snyder recommends drivers keep a window breaker in their car in case they find themselves in a similar emergency. He believes this happened because the woman was eating breakfast while driving, an important lesson in distracted driving.

“Everybody is distracted driving now,” Snyder said. “We all need to put down our phones and concentrate on the road.”

Meantime, Armbruster is still processing this morning’s events and is thankful he was there to help.

“You see someone that needs help, that’s what you do,” Armbruster said.

The woman and her child refused medical treatment while on the scene. An officer told us they are in good condition and recovering at home.