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Lake Monticello lifeguards save driver who crashed into water

Three young lifeguards at Lake Monticello are being hailed as heroes after their quick thinking and bravery resulted in the successful rescue of a driver who drove into the lake.

The driver crashed through a pool deck at Lake Monticello on Thursday morning before continuing over Beach 1 and into the water, according to reports from the scene. The vehicle began sinking rapidly, but the lifeguards acted swiftly. They managed to pull the driver out of the car just before it submerged completely, and she was promptly treated by paramedics at the scene.

"If not for the lifeguard, there would not likely have been as positive an outcome. She [the victim] is very lucky,” said Eddie Shifflett, chief of Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire & Rescue.

The lifeguards on duty that day who helped save the woman’s life have been identified as Paige Tomaras, Zach Butler and Savannah Peterson, according to the Lake Monticello Owners Association.

"We are very grateful that no lives were lost yesterday, and we are very proud of the residents’ work to rescue the person involved in the crash," Marieke Henry, a spokeswoman for the Lake Monticello Owners Association, told The Daily Progress.

Due to concerns regarding potential toxic fluid leakage from the vehicle, Beach 1 and the pool were closed for the remainder of the day on Thursday.

The vehicle was later successfully retrieved from the water, and the fire department has taken measures to address any chemical spills using specialized booms.

The driver of the car was transported to University of Virginia Medical Center for further medical attention.


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