Girl, 3, Submerged in Car for Half Hour, Is Saved by Divers

United Press International

A 3-year-old girl was reported in critical condition Thursday after divers plunged into the icy waters of New York Harbor to rescue her from a submerged car in which she was trapped for nearly 30 minutes.

Jacqueline Williams of Staten Island had been trapped in the car Wednesday night after her father drove off a pier while showing her the lights of Manhattan. She was being treated in the pediatric intensive-care unit of St. Vincent’s Hospital, officials said.

“We got lucky,” Harbor Police diver Kevin Collins said. “That’s all there was to it.”


Jacqueline’s father, Francis Williams, 48, said: “I just drove my car off the pier. I forgot they tore the pier down.” He was reported in stable condition.

Williams said he was pinned against the windshield but managed to smash the window on the driver’s side and free himself from the submerged vehicle. But he was unable to rescue his daughter.