Police said a 23-year-old Delaware woman who was allegedly driving drunk careened into a bayside canal, sinking her car, and would have drowned if a bystander hadn't rescued her.Um, I doubt she remembers a thing considering how bombed she was.
"He, no doubt in my mind, saved her life," said Ocean City police spokeswoman Jessica Waters. "When you look up 'hero' in the dictionary, that's what you find. Thank goodness he was there."
Police said it was about 2 a.m. Monday when Taylor Cole Vanderhook of Fenwick Island drove across the parking lot of Macky's Bayside Grill at 54th Street, bumped a pontoon boat on blocks, then drove into a canal behind a Candy Kitchen and Chauncey's Surf Shop.
Coming to her rescue was Chris Sullivan, the general manager of the adjacent Yang's Palace restaurant, who said he suffered a sleepless night after pulling her from her sinking car.
"I felt like the girl had died," he said. "She came so close. I wonder if she knew. ... I wonder how close to death she came. It haunts me even now. It's surreal."
Sullivan said he was staying in an apartment above the restaurant when he was awoken by the grating sound of a flat tire being driven on the rim of her Toyota Camry. He looked out the window because she made so much noise pulling in and watched her drive into the canal.Not surprisingly, she faces a host of charges. In an even more stunning revelation, she has at least one prior DUI. A couple more and she'll be an honorary Kennedy.
He came down to the ground in an effort to help. He said he could hear Vanderhook talking to someone on a phone and that she was not able to open her passenger windows to escape. He watched as the water filled the cabin, leaving 6-10 inches of air, and sought an object large enough to break the glass. He dove three times into the water, looking for ways to get her out.
Finding nothing, he ran back toward his restaurant for help and tripped on a wooden plank, which he used to bust open the vehicle's rear windshield, giving Vanderhook an opening to escape the sinking car.
"She said, 'Dude, I'm gonna kill you -- you broke my car.' I said, 'Darling, you gotta get out, or you're going to die,' " Sullivan said.