A man and a woman have died after a car went into a canal in Sunrise, launching an hours-long rescue and recovery efforts for the victims involved.
7SkyForce hovered above the scene near the 7700 block of West Oakland Park Boulevard, east of University Drive, just before 5:50 p.m., Wednesday.
According to Sunrise Police, the vehicle went into the canal while in reverse with both victims inside, at around 5:30 p.m.
Surveillance video captured what appears to be the car involved driving slow through the parking lot of the Jersey College School of Nursing. Moments later, the vehicle is seen picking up speed before it landed in the water.
Eyewitnesses said they saw the victims trying to get out of the vehicle. They were seen on the surface of the water before they went under.
Rescue divers were seen entering the water and pulling the woman from the water.
At least one faculty member and a student at the nearby school sprang into action and attempted to reach the victims.
“[The faculty member] actually jumped in the water to try and rescue people that were in the car,” said Dennis Gasberg, campus director at the school. “He’s a nurse, and a part of him just overtook everything else. It followed that with one of our students, which he tried to back her off, but there again, she also felt the need to try and rescue the person.”
But the water was too deep and too dark for them to provide any help.
“Our divers estimate that the water is approximately 20 feet deep, where the car is submerged partially upside down at the bottom of the water,” said Sunrise Fire Rescue Capt. John McNamara.
Sunrise Fire Rescue crews treated the woman in the back of a rescue truck before transporting her to Florida Medical Center, where she later died.
Divers kept going under in 20-minute intervals as they continued efforts to find the male victim. At around 6:10 p.m., they changed their search-and-rescue mission to a search-and-recovery mission.
Divers tied to rope spent the night searching for the man until they found him dead inside the vehicle.
“This is so tragic. I hate that any of this happened,” said Jerel Patrice with the school.
According to a witness, neither of the victims could swim. The witness is unsure as to who was driving the car at the time of the crash.
The car was later raised out of the water, as police continue to investigate.