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Good Samaritan Rescues Woman Who Crashed Into Pond

The 20-year-old driver was pulled out of her car window to safety Thursday before the vehicle sunk into a retention pond at the corner of Belcher Road and Solon Avenue in Dunedin.

A good Samaritan rescued a woman after her car crashed and sank into a retention pond Thursday in Dunedin, deputies said.

The driver, 20-year-old Bailey Hartman, of Largo, was driving south on Belcher Road around 4:45 p.m. Thursday when she was apparently cut off by an unidentified vehicle that made a U-turn in front of her, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reports.

Hartman swerved to avoid a collision but lost control of her 1992 Honda Accord, crashing into a pond at the corner of Belcher and Solon Avenue.

Palm Harbor resident Joseph Daniel Isabelle, 46, who was driving by and witnessed the crash, immediately pulled over, took off his shirt, set aside his cell phone and jumped into the water, deputies said.

Isabelle helped Hartman escape through her window — which was only open because her air conditioning wasn't working — and pulled her to an embankment about 20 to 25 feet away.

Isabelle stayed with Hartman until emergency personnel arrived. Neither of them was injured, authorities said.

Hartman's car became completely submerged, and the sheriff's office's dive team had to be called in to recover it.

The only description available of the unidentified vehicle that cut Hartman
off is that it may be a black, two-door car, possibly a Chevy, officials said.

The investigation continues.

dabfs September 14, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Way to go Joe !!!
Monty Seidler September 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I thought drivers in DC were bad but here in the Tampa Bay area, a majority of drivers break the rules of the road! I also believe that Pinellas County needs to get more serious about their vigilance in this area! Speeding, failure to use turn signals, and illegal lane changes are common every day occurrences! I'm sick of it!
Kathleen Sands Martin September 14, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Reason the drivers are so bad in theTampa Bay area is because they are transplants from all over the US. Running a red light = MA; Speeding: Every US State; Slide thru stop sign = NY; Driving 20 in a 55 MPH = TN; Cutting lanes in slow traffic = GA could go on/on but u get the picture
Pam Ricco September 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM
What an awesome story of an awesome hero!!! (I had to laugh that he made sure he set his cell phone aside--my husband has ruined many cell phones by taking them swimming---they don't like to swim!!!)
Pam Ricco September 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Kathleen that is hysterical and explains all of the "interesting" driving that takes place down here in paradise!!!
Anti-Westboro Baptist September 15, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Great story! Good news is so welcome these days!
LUCY September 15, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I've witness the U turns on Solon & Belcher my self. I almost had an accident there for the same reason recently. This accident will now make the PD enforce the law in that intersection. I'm glad that she's ok and her rescuer too. Now she will be stuck with the responsability of replacing car her since there's no one to go after. Almost like a hit & run. How sad.
Mamamia September 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I hate to say it but the Police are too busy over on CR1 between Curlew and Main. There is a speed limit reduction for no apparent reason just after Solon and you can bet your butt that you will see a police car on the median or hiding on a side street waiting for someone who thought they were going the speed limit of 40, and did not notice that the last few blocks are reduced to 35 mph for no apprect reason. Tax dollars at work

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