Two law enforcement officers in Columbus County are being hailed as heroes after rescuing a woman from a submerged truck.
Wendy Best Huggins, 37, of Whiteville was driving south on Old Lake Rd. near Lake Waccamaw Monday around 7:45 p.m. when her truck crossed the center line, slammed into the side of a concrete bridge and fell into a creek, troopers said.
"At first I didn't really see anything except for the extensive damage to the bridge," said Sgt. Steven Nobles of the Columbus County Sheriff's Office. "I was trying to find out where the vehicle was at. I didn't see it."
Then he spotted the tip of Huggins' tailgate sticking out of the water.
"I immediately started calling for assistance," Nobles said.
Lake Waccamaw Police Officer Steven Nicholson arrived moments later and jumped in the creek. Passerby David Odum Jr. was already in the water searching for the driver.
After Huggins was located, Nicholson put her under one arm and swam to the bank where Nobles started chest compressions.
Nobles said the seconds seemed like a lifetime.
"[You are] just wondering if she is going to make it, whether or not you're going to make sure you do the right things to make sure she lives," Nobles said.
Both officers said they simply acted as they were trained to do.
"I wouldn't consider us heroes. I just think we were just doing our job." Nicholson said. "It did cross my mind if there was any cottonmouths or any alligators laying down there, but luckily there wasn't."
At last check, Huggins was in critical condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. She faces several charges including DWI and reckless driving, according to the highway patrol.
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