Firefighters pulled a Boca Raton woman and her 16-year-old front-seat passenger from a car late Saturday night, after the vehicle hit a palm tree and careened into a lake -- but the woman died at a hospital a short time after the crash and the teen remains in critical condition, officials said.
The driver, 20-year-old Alejandra Valadez, struck the tree just after 11:55 p.m. in Deerfield Beach, according to a news release from Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.
Four people were inside the car when it crashed.
Two back-seat passengers -- Aaron Charlie Martinez, 20, and Alex Anthony Santos, 28 -- escaped from the submerged car. They suffered minor injuries, officials said.
Deerfield Beach units of the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue learned of the crash, which took place in the 800 block of Southwest Natura Boulevard, just east of Interstate 95 and north of Southwest 10th Street, and responded quickly. Firefighters immediately starting surface-water rescue attempts, officials said.
Firefighters broke a window in the 2003 Hyundai, which was submerged and overturned, and rescued the women trapped inside.
Alexis Jade Singh, 16, was in cardiac arrest when rescue crews brought her to shore. Firefighters started resuscitating the teen, officials said.
Valadez was trapped upside down in the car, in the muck at the bottom of the lake, the release said.
Firefighters had to use a winch and rescue tools to move the car and get Valadez out, which took about 15 minutes.
Valadez was also in cardiac arrest, and crews had to use “aggressive resuscitation efforts” on the woman, officials said.
Paramedics were able to restore a pulse to Singh, but Valadez later died at a hospital.
All four people were taken to Broward Health North Trauma Center.
The Hyundai had been speeding southbound on Natura Boulevard when the driver missed a curve, struck the tree and crashed, Broward Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide Unit investigators have determined.
Preliminarily, BSO detectives suspect alcohol was a contributing factor in the wreck.
The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of Valadez’s death.