Sacto 9-1-1
October 24, 2012
Woman drives car into Sacramento River, swims to safety

During early morning rain, a Walnut Grove woman drove her car into the Sacramento River Wednesday and swam to safety, said the California Highway Patrol.

Maria Lopez, 52, was driving her car northbound on Grand Island Road about 5:35 a.m. when she failed to make the curve in the roadway and drove the car off the road. The car went down an embankment and into the Sacramento River, according to CHP reports.

Lopez was able to get out of the car as it was sinking and started swimming for the shore. She seemed disoriented at first, possibly because of the darkness, and was swimming further out in the river, until a local resident and witness on a nearby shore helped guide her to safety.

Emergency personnel responded to the scene, checked Lopez and found only minor injuries. She declined transportation to the hospital.

No attempts were made to recover the car, because of darkness and rain, and CHP expects to tow it out of the river later today.

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