RANDOLPH (CBS) — It was just after 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, Vito Martello relaxed poolside at the Castle Village Estates Condominiums in Randolph. “I’d just swam in the pool,” he said. Moments later, he heard and saw this. “All of a sudden I just heard a big boom and the whole gate came down and she just went right into the water,” Martello explained.
A silver Jeep Cherokee, driven by 58-year-old Diane Lobel, had careened across the pool and landed in the deep end. “I heard the crash and I just jumped right into the water the minute the car hit the water so I was in there the same time as her trying to get her out and I couldn’t do that,” he said. Her front windows were down so Martello tried the driver’s side, but he says Lobel was unconscious and trapped by her air bag.
“When I tried to open the doors and everything was locked there. I said oh my God,” he recalled. Panicked, he checked the back of the vehicle to see if anyone else, maybe a child, was inside. He then took a breath and reassessed. “I came on the passenger side and just kept yanking her out and finally she came loose a little bit I knew I could get her and I pulled her and I held the back of her head and up like this and everybody helped me get her out of the water,” he said. By then, a few other people had gathered and tried CPR, but it was too late.
Martello was the only one in the immediate pool area at the time, and is grateful for that. But he still wishes his actions could’ve saved her Lobel’s life. “I’m heartbroken. I can’t believe it. I was the whole time praying for what I was hoping she’d make it though,’ he said.
Martello was visiting a co-worker who’d recently moved into the complex. He did not know Lobel, though others who did say she prided herself in overseeing the pool to make sure it was maintained.
Neighbors also say she was moving to Florida and was all set to leave on Thursday.
Police will investigate whether a medical condition caused Lobel to lose control. Neighbors say she’d suffered a couple of strokes but had recovered.