LERAY, N.Y. (WWTI) — New York State Police have released video evidence following an incident in Leray last week.
According to NYSP, on May 7, Troopers responded to a one-vehicle crash at the intersection of State Route 11 and State Route 26 in the Town of Leray, where a woman drove a vehicle into a retaining pond.
While traveling to the scene, both NYSP and Fire personnel were notified that the vehicle was still occupied by the female driver.
An initial investigation revealed that 61-year-old Joanne M. Tanner from Evans Mills was operating a 2010 Ford Explorer when she drove off the roadway and through the guidewire. State Police said Tanner’s vehicle then continued through a six-foot chain-link fence surrounding the reservoir and entered the water.
Upon arrival at the scene, the Ford Explorer was still floating in the pond. Trooper Christopher J. Hardy immediately exited his patrol vehicle and followed the path to the water.
At this time, several Evans Mills firefighters were already on the scene. Evans Mills Assistant Fire Chief John Russel tied a throw bag to himself and entered the water.
In an attempt to assist Evans Mills personnel, Trooper Hardy removed his gunbelt, and vest, tied off to a throw bag and entered the water. Assistant Chief Russell then used a steel pole to break the rear window of the SUV and entered through the broken window.
State Police said that Tanner was found submerged up to her shoulders in the driver’s seat and was unable to move.
Chief Russel attempted to pull her from the driver’s seat to the rear compartment but was unsuccessful. Both Trooper Hardy and Chief Russel then attempted to open the doors but they would not unlock. The vehicle then shifted and began to submerge further underwater.
When the vehicle shifted, the front compartment filled with water which submerged Tanner. With the steel pole, Trooper Hardy climbed to the top of the vehicle and began striking the sunroof, successfully striking the glass. He then reached down to grab Tanner.
After holding her breath for about 20 seconds Tanner was removed conscious and alert. Troopers Ryan L. Gentile and Rexford C. Reynolds assisted Trooper Hardy in bringing Tanner to shore as she began showing signs of hypothermia.
Tanner was then transported to Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown for hypothermia and minor lacerations.
However, upon her release from Samaritan, Tanner was arrested for DWI, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree and Speeding.
Tanner was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Watertown Court later this month.
Body camera footage from the scene was released by New York State Police on May 13. This can be watched in the player above.