Morgan Co. deputy saves woman from submerged car

Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Taylor said the woman only had a few inches of breathing space when he got to the car.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 11:20 PM EDT
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MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - An East Tennessee deputy is being called a hero after saving a woman from her car as it sank into water.

Around 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, a woman lost control of her car and drove into a pond along Highway 62 just outside of Wartburg.

Luckily, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tony Taylor was right down the road.

“When I got out of the vehicle, I could hear the woman screaming,” Taylor said. “She was screaming for help, she was drowning.”

Taylor said he’s worked with the sheriff’s office for about two years, and never had to perform a water rescue, and hasn’t trained for it either.

But, he was the first one on scene. So, he dove into the cold water.

“I actually attempted to break the passenger side door window and couldn’t get it to break,” the deputy said. “I hit it with everything I had, and I ended up having to move to the back glass, and ended up getting it to break,” he said.

Taylor said he used his foot to break the back window. He said a witness entered the water with him to help rescue the woman. Time was running out.

“When I got to the truck, it was almost just her nose down to the side of her face that was underwater,” Taylor said.

He said he and the bystander pulled the woman out of the passenger side door and to safety.

He took WVLT News back to the pond where the car plunged into the water.

“She left the road by the mailbox,” Taylor said, pointing to a mailbox about 100 feet away from the pond. “And came down the embankment here, and then ran and crashed through these trees, and straight into the pond over there.”

Taylor said there is still debris in the pond from the woman’s car. She was treated for non life-threatening injuries. Taylor said he’s just glad he was able to rescue the woman in time.

He said he’s gotten a lot of praise from co-workers and the local community since the rescue, but he said he was just trying to do his job before anything else.