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Off-duty deputy saves woman in sinking car

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – In the right place at the right time is how one St. John's County deputy is describing his encounter with a woman who was stuck in her sinking car.

Robin Lawson, 57, told police she lost control of her car and ended up in a retention pond.

Lawson told police she was having a hard time seeing the road as it was raining Saturday evening. She said she was trying to turn on to Afton Lane, but couldn't see the road…

The path her car took can be seen from the tire tracks in the dirt and the pond was deep enough to swallow most of her car.

It was a normal Saturday for Corporal Tommy Marmo and his family which took a major turn as they passed the pond Saturday night.

“I was in the middle of giving my children a lecture. My wife saw the vehicle. She said there's a vehicle in the pond over there,” Marmo said. “I'm like OK. So I stopped lecturing the kids and we turned around and saw the vehicle was submerged."

Marmo was faced with a sinking car with a woman inside. Another man had already jumped into the pond smashing the window, but getting Lawson out was challenging. According to Marmo she was stuck inside and the car was filling with water fast.

“I just asked her, several times. Is anyone else in the car? I asked her name, and she said Robin,” Marmo said. “And I asked her is anyone else in the car and she kept saying no, no, no, no."

Marmo said by the time they got Lawson out, the car was submerged. He said the first man that jumped in is the hero.

“I don't know what his background or training is, but he went into the water, and he was in the water and to the car before I even got out to the car so I give him all the credit,” Marmo said. “Whoever that was…was prepared.”