Cristina Carrera Chavez helped to save Jack Brownstone from drowning, Rancho Mirage, California, May 4, 2007. Brownstone, 87, remained in the driver’s seat of his car, which had entered a lake at a condominium complex and was beginning to sink nose first in water about 20 feet deep. Chavez, 21, caretaker, witnessed the accident from nearby. She ran to the bank of the lake and, despite her inability to swim, waded into the water and paddled out to the car, which was about 25 feet from the bank. At the driver’s side, she reached into the vehicle through the opened window of the driver’s door, grasped Brownstone, and pulled him head first from the car. Chavez struggled to keep Brownstone afloat, submerging repeatedly. The director of security at the complex arrived about then, and she too entered the water and swam out. She grasped Brownstone by the shirt and with Chavez returned him to wadable water, where a man provided Brownstone aid in leaving the lake. Chavez and the security director also exited the lake to safety. Brownstone was taken to the hospital for observation, and Chavez was treated there for minor ill effects. They recovered.
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