Body camera video is released after woman goes to Leray pond
LERAY, NY (WWTI) – New York State Police released video evidence following an incident in Leray last week.
According to NYSP, on May 7, Troopers responded to a crash involving a vehicle at the intersection of State Route 11 and State Route 26 in the town of Leray, where a woman drove a vehicle into a retention pond.
While driving to the scene, NYSP and fire department personnel were informed that the vehicle was still occupied by the driver.
An initial investigation revealed Joanne M. Tanner, 61, of Evans Mills, was driving a 2010 Ford Explorer when she left the roadway and crossed the guide wire. State police said Tanner’s vehicle then drove through a six-foot chain-link fence surrounding the reservoir and entered the water.
Upon arrival at the scene, the Ford Explorer was still floating in the pond. Trooper Christopher J. Hardy immediately got out of his patrol vehicle and followed the path into the water.
At this time, several firefighters from Evans Mills were already on the scene. Evans Mills Deputy Fire Chief John Russel strapped on a throw bag and got into the water.
In an attempt to help Evans Mills staff, Cavalier Hardy removed his belt and vest, strapped to a throw bag and entered the water. Deputy Chief Russell then used a steel pole to smash the SUV’s rear window and entered through the broken window.
State police said Tanner was found submerged to the shoulders in the driver’s seat and was unable to move.
Chief Russel attempted to drag her from the driver’s seat to the rear compartment, but was unsuccessful. Cavalier Hardy and Chief Russel then attempted to open the doors, but they did not unlock. The vehicle then moved and began to submerge further underwater.
As the vehicle moved, the front compartment filled with water which submerged Tanner. With the steel pole, the Cavalier Hardy climbed onto the roof of the vehicle and began to hit the sunroof, successfully hitting the glass. He then bent down to grab Tanner.
After holding her breath for about 20 seconds, Tanner was rendered conscious and alert. Privates Ryan L. Gentile and Rexford C. Reynolds helped Private Hardy pull Tanner down as she began to show signs of hypothermia.
Tanner was later transported to Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown for hypothermia and minor lacerations.
However, upon her release from Samaritan, Tanner was arrested for impaired driving, aggravated operation without a first-degree license, and speeding.
Tanner has been issued an appearance ticket and is due to appear in court in Watertown later this month.
Body camera footage from the scene was released by the New York State Police on May 13. This can be viewed in the player above.