By Paul Burton

ARLINGTON (CBS) – Cesar Perozo says he was going for a walk with his family by Spy Pond on Friday when he saw a car accidentally launch right into the water. “She just floored it and it hit pretty hard,” Perozo said.

Inside was Baldwin Henry’s wife, 68-year-old Helen Joyce of Medford. “She just put it in drive and hit the gas and jumped the curb when she panicked,” Henry said.

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Perozo said he saw Henry banging on her window frantically. With the car drifting away Perozo was the first to jump into the water with his clothes on. “She said ‘I can’t swim’ I said ‘I know but I have you, we have to go, we have to go,'” Perozo recalled. “Water was pouring into the car.”

Bystanders rush to help a woman out of her sinking car. (Image Credit: Arlington Police Department)

Bystanders rush to help a woman out of her sinking car. (Image Credit: Arlington Police Department)

He barely grabbed her by one hand to pull her away from the vehicle which quickly sank about 40 feet. “The force was so strong that she literally got ripped out of my hands and I wasn’t able to hold onto her,” Perozo said.

Seconds later two other rescuers, David Frasier and Ken Chapman, also swam out to help. “You can see in her eyes she didn’t think she was going to live,” Frasier said.

Cesar Perozo rescued a woman from Spy Pond in Arlington (WBZ-TV)

Cesar Perozo rescued a woman from Spy Pond in Arlington (WBZ-TV)

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Frasier grabbed a cushion for the woman to float on. It took all three men to bring her back to shore. She was treated for mild hypothermia and taken to the hospital.

“She said ‘thank you Jesus,’” Ken Chapman said.

Ford Edge recovered from Spy Pond after accident (WBZ-TV)

Ford Edge recovered from Spy Pond after accident (WBZ-TV)

“All I can say is that the Good Lord was with her. And very thankful for the guys who jumped in the water with clothes on to save her. More than words can say,” Henry said.

On Saturday rescue crews removed the car from Spy Pond. Helen, who’s still recovering in the hospital, says she wants to thank her rescuers personally.

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“I wasn’t supposed to be here, but we were all here at the right time and she’s alive we thank God for that,” Perozo said.

Paul Burton