Three Sugar Land police officers were touted as heroes last week for rescuing a woman who drove into a lake in the Telfair community early Saturday morning and couldn’t escape her sinking vehicle.
Officers Micah Wilks, Michael Candler, and Garrett Driscoll recounted the event during a press conference Thursday.
Wilks, who was the first officer on the scene, said the call came in around 6:20 a.m. just as shifts were changing. The lake at the intersection of Meadowcroft Boulevard and Westcott Avenue was near the police station, so he responded.
“I dropped off my duty rig, all of my equipment, jumped in the water and go in after her,” he said.
The woman, identified as Mercy Inyang, was described by police as a 48-year-old nurse who was on her way home from a long, overnight shift and had fallen asleep at the wheel. When Wilks arrived she was wide-awake and panicking inside the sinking SUV.
“As I was approaching the lake, I could hear her screaming. She was banging on the window, so you know that she was in desperate need of help,” he said. “From that point it didn’t look like she was going to be able to get out of that vehicle.”
Candler and Driscoll came in behind Wilks and helped pull Inyang from the vehicle after breaking out a back window.
“She was scared. She wanted to come through the front window first,” Driscoll said.
With the front window disappearing under water, she changed her mind and went back.
“Her drowning was always a concern of ours,” Candler said.
The whole rescue took less than two minutes.
“After we got her out the car was under water in a matter of 30 seconds,” Wilks said.
When asked how they felt about the rescue, Candler said it’s all part of the job.
“It’s very inspiring when we’re able to do that. It’s what we want to do as police officers,” he said. “My only thoughts were that this lady needed help.”
Inyang was not injured and Driscoll suffered a small cut on his hand. The car was later removed from the lake.
“It’s not something you train for,” Wilkes said of the rescue. “It’s just life skills and you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do.”