Woman drives car into Tampa river, drowns

TAMPA — Authorities say a woman got lost while driving to a church outing, accidentally drove down a boat ramp and drowned in the Hillsborough River as rescuers tried to save her.

Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis says 51-year-old Migdalia Mendoza was on the phone with a friend Wednesday night as she drove through Lowry Park. The call ended abruptly with Mendoza saying she was in the water and needed help.

The Tampa Bay Times reports someone across the river saw the car drive into the water and called 911. Two police officers arrived within five minutes and dove in. They found the car but could not get Mendoza out. The police dive team arrived and pulled her from the car.

Rescuers unsuccessfully tried to revive her.

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