1 killed, 3 injured in pond crash

Published On: Jan 30 2013 01:55:28 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 04 2013 07:43:55 AM EST

A 78-year-old woman died Thursday after she was rescued from a car submerged in a Viera pond in a 2-car crash, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue.

VIERA, Fla. -

A 78-year-old woman died Thursday after she was pulled from a car submerged in a Viera pond in a two-car crash, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue.

Three others were injured in the accident and hospitalized.

The accident occurred Thursday afternoon at Stadium Parkway and North Wickham Road.

Brevard County Fire Rescue firefighters pulled Joan Phaneu, 79, from the vehicle, which was submerged in the 7-foot pond. She was in critical condition and airlifted to the hospital, where she later died, authorities said.

[PICS: Scroll down to see pictures from the crash scene]

Before authorities arrived, a witness pulled out 72-year-old Floyd Phaneuf, the woman's husband and the driver of the car.

"We kept coming up for air, going back down, to see if we can somehow get the lady out," said Jill Brooks.

Brooks said she saw the crash and dove into the water to try to help.

"I didn't want to start my new year out this way, but if it was to save a life, I'm more than blessed," she said.

Divers removed the car from the pond, which is on the property of Church at Viera.

Fire Rescue officials said a total four patients were taken to the hospital. Of the three survivors, two were in trauma and one in stable condition.

In the other car, the driver, a 38-year-old woman, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Her 18-year-old passenger was also taken to the hospital, but she is in stable condition.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

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Pics: Car crashes into pond

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