ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – A Rockwall County Sheriff’s deputy is being called a hero for saving the lives of two women who were trapped inside a sinking car at Lake Ray Hubbard.
Deputy Keven Rowen was patrolling Robertson Park at the border of the Rockwall and Dallas County lines on Saturday when he spotted a vehicle in the water with the headlights sticking out. The vehicle was sinking before his eyes.
He could see two victims inside the backseat of the car and heard their cries for help.
Rowen called for backup, then took off his duty belt, preparing to jump in the water and help get the women out of the vehicle.
The entire rescue was caught on dash cam video.
When asked by another deputy if he was going to jump in, Rowen is heard on the video saying, “I have to! They are screaming and they can’t get out!”
He is then seen walking into the water.
“Their heads were pressed against the roof trying to get breath and they were screaming, ‘Help us! Help us! Hurry!,'” Rowen said.
Rowen carried a window punch tool, meant to break car windows, in his pocket for the past two years, just in case.
The tool finally came in handy Saturday morning.
He broke the window and pulled the two women to safety. Neither knew how to swim.
“I just bear hugged them both and tried to get up,” Rowen said. “When I grabbed them they weren’t going to let go anyway because they didn’t want to be in that water.”
The women, Nhi Trang, 21, and Ngac Do, 20, are cousins from Vietnam attending college in North Texas. Trang’s father said the women got lost.
“It almost looks like an on ramp to get back onto the highway. They said they were driving and they drove straight into the water. I guess they tried to reverse but they couldn’t. The car floated out and began to sink,” Rowen said.
To the women he saved, Rowen will be always be a hero.
“They said thank you and they gave me a hug and I felt like I was appreciated for what I did so I feel good,” Rowen said.
Rockwall Sheriff Harold Eavenson said this isn’t the first time a car has driven into the lake at that on-ramp. He plans to to work with Dallas city officials to get warning lights in that area to prevent similar incidents from happening again.