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Texas Driver Rescued After SUV Veers Off Road, Plunges Into Freezing Cold River

BEXAR COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — A woman driving in Texas is lucky to be alive after spending nearly eight hours trapped in her car -- in freezing water.

Fortunately, neighbors alerted first responders to the accident that sent her car off a bridge into the Medina River, near San Antonio.

A firefighter dive team pulled the 29-year-old woman out of her overturned vehicle, after she crashed through a metal barrier.

SUV into Medina River
(credit: CNN)

Bexar County sheriffs deputies say the woman is alive thanks to nearby neighbors who saw tire tracks and followed them to the end.

Tony Luna talked about what he saw. "Yeah, she hit that," he said pointing to the crumpled metal. "The first thing that came to my mind I thought that she had drowned."

The woman was saved thanks to Luna, his granddaughter and her fiancé.

It was hours before finding the driver -- around 3:00 a.m. -- when Luna said his daughter heard a loud noise, but didn't think much of it. It wasn't until around 11:00 a.m. that the family noticed the tire tracks while returning from running errands.

The tire tracks lead to the river where they saw the car and called 911.

Bexar County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Johnny Garcia said, "She was a little bit disoriented, obviously, from the crash. I believe she might have had some minor injuries but she was alive. We're fortunate that they [the Luna family] were able to go down and check, because otherwise nobody would have known."

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, but officials are looking into whether slick roads and a high rate of speed may have lead to the driver losing control.

For Luna and his family they say they'll never forget seeing fire crews pull the woman out of the vehicle and the water. "When the two people jumped in from the fire department, you know one of them said 'she's alive', so that made me feel like a million dollars."

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

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