HAMPTON - A woman rescued from her submerged car on Wednesday is now charged with failure to maintain control.
Police say Dorthea Allen Riley of Hampton lost control of her car just after 7:00 a.m. and landed in he southwest branch of the Back River in Riverdale.
Capt. Jeff Pereira says someone in the neighborhood saw it happen and rescued her. That person was Bill Leath, who was working in his garden.
"I heard screeching and I heard a crash and I looked up and the car hit the guardrail, flipped over and went nose first, upside down, in the creek. I immediately just dropped what I was doing and started running down there and I heard the woman cry for help one time," he said.
He says his training as a lifeguard came in handy.
"When I got to her, she was face down and I pulled her up, gave her a squeeze and water came out and she started coughing. Then we (a neighbor) pulled her over to the bank and that was about it."
Paramedics took Riley to the hospital.
When firefighters and the dive team arrived at the LaSalle Ave. extended bridge, they could only see the tail lights and part of the trunk.
The dive team attached straps to the vehicle so a private contractor with crane could raise it and bring it on land.
Hazmat teams put booms in the water to keep any gasoline and oil spills from spreading.
Investigators are working to determine what caused the driver to lose control.
The scene in the Riverdale neighborhood closed LaSalle Ave. southbound lanes from Tide Mill Road to Mercury Blvd. for several hours. The lanes towards Langley Air Force Base remained open.