Jordan Welsh, left, Tyler Lewis, Landon Firestone, 14, and Joey Biddit and Landon’s sister Cassey Firestone rescued a woman who crashed her car into
Jordan Welsh, left, Tyler Lewis, Landon Firestone, 14, and Joey Biddit and Landon's sister Cassey Firestone rescued a woman who crashed her car into a pond during a snowstorm earlier this month. (Bil Bowden photo)

A group of friends were spending a snowy night inside earlier this month when the phone rang.

There might be a car in a nearby pond and someone might still be in it, said the voice at the other end.

So the group of friends — Landon Firestone, 14; Jordan Welsh, 20; Joey Biddix 21; and Tyler Lewis, 21 — took off running toward the pond near Landon's York Township home.

There they found the car, a PT Cruiser, with a woman in her late 70s inside, half submerged in the pond.

"We saw the tracks (of the car) going down to the pond," Landon said.

The friends were able to pull the woman from the car and shuttled her on an ATV back to the house where Landon lives with his parents and sister until first responders arrived.

The crash: Sgt. Peter Montgomery of York Area Regional Police said the crash happened in the 3000 block of Reynolds Mill Road about 6 p.m. Jan 2.

The woman was driving on Reynolds Mill Road and somehow lost control of the car and ended up in the pond.

The car traveled 175 feet off the road, missing trees and a fence, before it crashed into 3 to 4 feet of water.

It was "submerged in the water as high as the car windows," Montgomery said.

A snowstorm that day caused hazardous road conditions, and the temperature was well below freezing.

The rescue: Welsh, who joined the York Township Fire Dept. about a year ago, and Biddex were the first to jump into the water.

They found the woman, who couldn't swim and didn't have a cellphone, in the passenger seat, buckled in with a seatbelt, and afraid.

The driver's side door was stuck and wouldn't open, Biddix said.

"She was frigid. She was in shock," Welsh said.

The friends were able to pull the woman from the car and to safety, but she was apprehensive at first.

"She thought she was going to get out in the water and drown," Landon said.

Back at the house, the woman was warmed up as Landon's sister, Cassie Firestone, 18, called the woman's daughter to tell her what had happened.

EMTs with Jacobus Lions Ambulance Club arrived and took over care of the woman.

Long time: Landon and Welsh estimated the woman was in the water for about 15 minutes before she was rescued.

They were alerted to the incident after a neighbor called Landon's mother saying his son thought he saw a car go into the pond on their property. She in turn called Landon, who was in a mancave in a refurbished barn on the property with his friends.

The group of friends haven't heard from the woman, who could not be reached for comment, since the incident, but her daughter updated the Firestones recently, saying she has recovered.

The outcome could have been much different, Welsh said. In fact, he was expecting the worst when he leapt into the water.

"We were surprised to see someone inside. We thought she would have been deceased," Welsh said.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.