Car plunges into Intracoastal in Miami Beach, woman hospitalized

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews pulled a woman from a submerged car and took her to the hospital after she plunged into the Intracoastal in Miami Beach.

It happened at around 5:20 a.m., Monday, along 51st Street and Collins Avenue, right across the street form The Alexander Hotel.

7News cameras captured the victim’s gray Volkswagen Jetta as it was pulled from the water after being submerged for more than three hours.

According to Miami Beach Police, the victim veered off the road when she attempted to avoid a collision with another car. That’s when she lost control and plunged into the Intracoastal.

Good Samaritan Marc Hundley said he woke up on his boat minutes before the car went it. He said he had a feeling something bad was going to happen, and that’s when he heard the vehicle crash into the water.

The Jetta sank, and Hundley dove in to see what he could do, but nothing worked.

“I’m a captain and all that, and I have to deal with situations, but I never saw something like that,” he said. “To feel so helpless, that was the issue, just feeling so helpless.”

At the time, he was unable to find his sledgehammer to bust open a window.

Shortly after, first responders arrived.

“I come up, and I see one of the fire rescue with fins, and I said, ‘Here, here, here’s the tank,’ and they go down, and about, I don’t know, five to 10 minutes later, they pulled the girl out of the water,” said Hundley. “She was underwater for a while. It was not a two-minute thing.”

The driver of the car the victim was trying to avoid stayed at the scene and even tried to help the woman who went into the water.

Paramedics transported the victim to Mount Sinai Medical Center in unknown condition.

A Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue chopper assisted in the search for other potential victims in the water early Monday morning.

Police shut down Collins Avenue southbound at 53rd Street. The roadway was later reopened.

Hundley said he found his sledgehammer after the rescue. He said he feels horrible about being unable to help the woman, replaying what happened and trying to think of what else he could have done.

“You know, if she’d just stayed calm and waited, probably could have been able to pop open the door or something, but the panic,” he said. “I could hear yelling and crying, and I’m like — that’s what shook me up. I don’t know how to describe that.”

Police said the other driver is cooperating and charges are not likely.

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