Troopers ID woman who died after driving SUV into retention pond

Troopers ID woman who died after driving SUV into retention pond

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Troopers have identified a woman who drove into a Kissimmee retention pond Monday afternoon and died after three people frantically tried to pull her out of her submerged SUV.

The victim was Mary Arbour, 64, of Laramie, Wyoming, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

A female rescuer was taken to a hospital for exhaustion.

According to troopers, Arbour's silver 2006 Honda SUV was stopped on the east shoulder of northbound of U.S. 192 in Kissimmee on Monday afternoon when two good Samaritans pulled over to help, thinking she had broken down.

When they tried to talk to her, the men said Arbour was mumbling and didn't seem to be able to communicate clearly.

As one of the men was calling 911 for help, Arbour suddenly hit the gas pedal, and the Honda went into the pond and turned nose-down.

"As soon as she started heading across toward the lake, I ran ahead and jumped in. I found out it was super deep, so I yelled back [to my friend], "Grab a hammer!" Keith Fusco said.

Fusco and his coworker, James Wickliff, tried to smash out the windows of the SUV, which was quickly sinking. But they were 25 feet from shore in water over their heads.

"I tried to see if I could go in and get her. It was dark in there. I was just running out of breath. I had to turn around and swim back. I tried my hardest," Wickliff said.

Fusco said they tried to go in several times, but it was too deep and murky.

Arbour was in the water almost 30 minutes until a dive team pulled her out of the car. She was pronounced dead at Osceola Regional Hospital.

Fusco and Wickliff were able to save a small dog, which was in the car. They popped open the rear window, and it swam onto Wickliff's back.

"I don't know the lady, but I'm choked up about it. You try to do your best," Fusco said.

The dog is being cared for by Osceola County Animal Services.

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