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HERO: Westwood Officer Rescues Emerson Driver After Car Plunges Into Backyard Pool

INSET: Officer Ryan Sestanovich / BACKGROUND: Forest Avenue and Lake Drive in Westwood.
INSET: Officer Ryan Sestanovich / BACKGROUND: Forest Avenue and Lake Drive in Westwood. Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/DAILY VOICE

UPDATE: A driver who was rescued by a Westwood police officer after her wagon crashed into a backyard swimming pool received a summons for careless driving, Police Chief Michael Pontillo said Thursday.

The 32-year-old Emerson driver, whom he didn’t identify by name, was headed south on Lafayette Avenue when her 2021 Honda wagon crossed over the center line as it rounded the bend at Ridgewood Road around 3 a.m. Monday, Pontillo said.

The Honda hit a curb, then crashed through a fence, a shed and another fence before barreling down a small retaining wall, onto the pool deck and into the in-ground pool on Lake Drive, the chief said.

Officer Ryan Sestanovich, who was the first responder at the scene, found the floating vehicle “slowly drifting towards the deep end of the pool,” taking on water, with the driver banging on the window inside, Pontillo said.

Sestanovich broke the rear window and got her out, he said.

The driver was taken to Pascack Valley Medical Center with cuts, bumps and bruises, the chief said.

Police issued her a summons for careless driving after she “indicated that she lost control of her vehicle around the bend in the road and hit the accelerator and not the brake, thus causing the accident,” Pontillo said.

Sestanovich, meanwhile, received a department commendation, he said.

“The investigation into this matter is now closed,” Pontillo concluded.

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