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PHOTOS: Construction crew pulls woman from water after car goes over Howey Bridge

Bridge closed during morning commute, deputies say

HOWEY IN THE HILLS, Fla. – A woman was pulled to safety Wednesday morning by good Samaritans who saw her car plunge into a body of water in Howey-in-the-Hills, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Nicole Bankston, 35, was driving on State Road 19 over the Howey Bridge around 7:12 a.m. when she swerved because she thought something was in the road, which caused her to strike a curb and then she over-corrected her vehicle and strike the west barrier of the bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said the Altima traveled off the bridge into Lake Harris and became submerged.

Howey-in-the-Hills police said a group of construction workers with La Ware Construction saw Bankston, who was able to get out of her vehicle after it landed in the water, and used a rescue boat they had in the water at the time to rescue her.

[PHOTOS: Construction crew pulls woman from water after car goes over Howey Bridge]

Traffic alert: Howey bridge is down to one lane due to a vehicle going over the edge. Please allow extra time for travel.

Posted by Howey-in-the-Hills Police Department on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Deputies said the good Samaritans used a rope to pull her from the water.

Traffic lanes going into Howey-in-the-Hills were shut down and drivers were being rerouted through Astatula as the rescue was underway, authorities said. Drivers were asked to avoid State Road 19 south out of Tavares.

The bridge reopened to one-way traffic around 9:30 a.m., officials said.

Police said around 9:50 a.m. that the woman was taken to Florida Hospital Waterman to be treated for minor injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating, according to police.


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