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Good Samaritans Hailed As Heroes After Rescuing Woman From Bronx River Parkway Crash

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police confirmed that the quick action of two drivers on the Bronx River Parkway saved another driver's life.

CBS 2's Lou Young spoke with the Good Samaritans and the grateful family of the woman they rescued.

There were tears of relief at Jacobi Medical Center as the family of 24-year-old Amanda Diaz gives thanks for her survival – and for the two strangers who stopped to save her life.

"I'm very grateful to them, and I'd like to meet them and thank them personally," Diaz's mother, Maria Medina, said. "It's a big deal, and you don't know how thankful…I am to them.

Amanda Diaz
Amanda Diaz, 24, was pulled from the Bronx River by two Good Samaritans after a crash on June 14, 2011. (Credit: CBS 2)

The Good Samaritans, Hasani Bassue and Charles Buono, saw the young woman's car leave the Bronx River Parkway Wednesday morning and disappear into the weeds.

"I knew somebody was hurt," Buono said. "I knew somebody was hurt, so on the spur of the moment, I just did it."

"I came out of my car, I saw no car on the highway, no car on the guard rail," Bassue said. "I said, 'whoa, I've got to go in,' so I start climbing through the bushes and I actually jump into the river."

The Bronx River is only a few feet deep at that spot, but the car was upside down. Amanda Diaz was strapped in, with her head and shoulders under water.

If Bassue and Buono hadn't stopped their cars and come down from the highway, Diaz wouldn't be breathing today.

"I really thank those two guys," Diaz's father, Jose Diaz, said. "I really want to meet them personally and say thank you."

Diaz's family said they're stunned by the thought of what could have happened if the two Good Samaritans hadn't stopped and acted.

"If me and this guy don't stop, nobody sees the car because it's in the woods…in the water. You can't see it driving by," Buono said. "She could still be there today."

Bassue and Buono were given the chance to act and did, and now many are calling them heroes.

Amanda Diaz remains hospitalized at Jacobi Medical Center. She's scheduled to undergo a back operation on Friday.

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