An Illinois woman thanked the 12 Good Samaritans Thursday who came to her aid after she was trapped in the water following a car crash earlier this month.
They rushed into the waters off an Illinois highway to rescue Joanna Girmscheid after she was unconscious in her car.
“Your heroic and selfless actions saved the life of this motorist,” she said.
Girmscheid was driving on the highway when she lost control of her car, flipping off the exit ramp and into a pond on the side of the road. Her car quickly filled with water.
“I thought I knew fear before, but that was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been through,” she said.
Nearby drivers pulled over and jumped in to help.
“My body just couldn’t hold on any longer, and when it couldn’t, they were there. They saved my life,” Girmscheid said.
The strangers pulled her to dry ground, performing COP until emergency crews could arrive.
“Everyone standing behind me is the true definition of a hero,” she said. “What happened to me, the car accident, could’ve ended very tragically. It could’ve ended in a funeral. Instead, it ends in celebration. My life can continue because of these people.
Now she hopes her terrifying experience is one people can learn from.
“A split second can change everything, everything,” she said. “I learned that the hard way. If you are ever in a situation like this, or any kind of situation, do what you can because seconds can save a life.”
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