Good Samaritans honored for saving woman from submerged car

When seconds count, complete strangers move into action, saving a woman after her car plunged into a pond in Kane County.

Now we're seeing the dramatic video of the rescue as those Good Samaritans are honored as heroes.

With the clock ticking, several people waded into a retention pond off I-90 in Huntley. Complete strangers, who'd seen a car swerve off the exit ramp and flip into the water.

“I thought I knew fear before, but that was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been through,” said Joanna Girmscheid.

26-year-old Joanna Girmscheid was inside that car. Just when her fight to get out failed, Nate Jennings and 10 others were there to help free her.

“My body just couldn't hold on any longer…And when it couldn't they were there...they were there, they were there…And they saved my life, all of these people behind me saved my life,” Joanna said.

The Good Samaritans performed CPR until she regained consciousness.

“What happened to me it could have ended very tragically, it could have ended in a funeral and instead it ends in celebration,” Joanna said.

That celebration happened as the Illinois State Police honored the 11 heroes with commendation letters for the August 3rd rescue.

“There's no greater reward in life than saving the life of another human being,” said ISP Director Leo Schmitz.

For Nate Jennings, a corporal with the Illinois Army National Guard, experience under pressure was key.

Some just had the drive to help, which Joanna hopes will inspire others.

“Just do what you can, because seconds can save a life,” she said.

Joanna has a broken hand, but is otherwise okay. She says it's all thanks to her many guardian angels.

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