PD: Woman who drove into canal faces drunken driving charges - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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PD: Woman who drove into canal faces drunken driving charges

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Phoenix firefighters secure a woman who drove her car into a canal early Wednesday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News) Phoenix firefighters secure a woman who drove her car into a canal early Wednesday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Firefighters were able to get to the woman from the top of her car. (Source: Phoenix Fire Department) Firefighters were able to get to the woman from the top of her car. (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
Another image of the rescue. (Source: Phoenix Fire Department) Another image of the rescue. (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
Maria Estella Martinez-Hernandez (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Maria Estella Martinez-Hernandez (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Phoenix police say a woman who drove into a Phoenix canal early Wednesday morning faces drunken driving charges.

A Phoenix man's quick thinking helped firefighters rescue 39-year-old Maria Estella Martinez-Hernandez.

Brian Rexroad was driving home from work about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday when he saw a car's taillights "swerving all over" near 15th and Dunlap avenues. He said he followed the car because he was worried about what could happen and saw the car turn west onto the canal bank about Seventh Avenue and go about 100 yards before it stopped.

Rexroad said he lives "just around the corner" from Seventh and Dunlap and drove home, but said something "just didn't feel right" so he went back to the bridge over the canal to look for the car.

He said he couldn't see anything at first, but then saw headlights in the water.

He ran to the lights and saw Martinez-Hernandez sitting outside of the window.

"She was totally calm," Rexroad said. "I don't think she even knew where she was. She wasn't screaming or crying for help."

Rexroad said he couldn't understand what she was saying because he doesn't speak Spanish and he didn't believe the woman understands English.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Tony Mure said Rexroad should be commended for getting involved.

Mure said Rexroad did exactly what he should have - observed what was happening, called 911 and then came back to make sure the driver was OK.

Mure said Rexroad was able to give the fire department exact directions and updated information that led firefighters to the location.

Firefighters were able to get to Martinez-Hernandez from the top of her car, which was submerged in 4 to 5 feet of water, and help her to safety. Mure said it was fortunate the incident didn't turn into a fatality and that no one else was in the car.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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