Police from the Hudson Valley saved a woman’s life who was minutes away from drowning.


On Thursday just before 1 p.m., a car went off the road, rolled down an embankment and landed upside down in a creek in the Town of Newburgh.

Inside the car, Anita-Jean McMonigle of Marlboro. She later wrote on Facebook that she was hanging upside down by her seatbelt, which wouldn’t release, and the car was quickly filling up with water.

McMonigle said she was blowing her horn over and over and praying. Just as she began to think she was going to die in her car, her near-death experience had an ending fit for Hollywood.

Town of Newburgh police officer Taso Karabelos jumped into the creek, broke the car windows, cut McMonigle’s seatbelt and dragged her to safety. McMonigle was minutes away from drowning, police say.

“Thank you to him and the rest of the rescue team, town police, and town ambulance for all of their help and caring. You truly saved my life,” McMonigle wrote on Facebook.

McMonigle walked away freezing and drenched, but only with a few bumps and bruises, according to her niece.

“For many years I worked on a volunteer ambulance service as an EMT. I got a lot of satisfaction from helping people in their time of need. Thursday, I was repaid in full,” she wrote.

On their Facebook page, Town of Newburgh police thanked Anita for her thank you note. Adding, they wished her a fast recovery.