Click photo to enlarge
Jeanette Thompson of Raiders.com, left, chats with Raiders assistant trainer Chris Cortez, right, and Taryn Griffin.

OAKLAND -- Raiders assistant athletic trainer Chris Cortez was among the heroes who helped pull a woman out of her sinking car in the Oakland estuary early Saturday evening.

Cortez and his wife, along with family friend Taryn Griffin, spotted a car sinking in the water off Doolittle Drive while driving home from dinner. When they approached, they noticed a woman was still in the car. And they didn't hesitate to jump into action.

"It was more of a reaction than sitting there thinking (about) it," Cortez told Raiders.com. "It goes along with our business. If something happens, we have to be right on top of it."

Cortez and Griffin, along with another person, took charge of the situation.

"We got the woman to roll down her window and the car started going under," Cortez said. "Taryn, being the awesome swimmer that she is, dove right in and so I just went in right after her. And so did another individual, and we got her out of there without a scratch, which is pretty amazing."

Griffin, who joined Cortez in retelling the story in a video diary on Raiders.com, is a nurse who said she just did what came naturally by leaping into the chilly water.

"I couldn't just watch a lady drown," Griffin said. "I didn't know if she spoke English, because she wasn't responding. So, I was using sign language as best I could to tell her to roll down the window."


Advertisement

A bystander shot video of Cortez, Griffin and another helper pulling the unidentified woman from her car and helping her to the shore.

Oakland Police Lt. Kirk Coleman told Bay Area News Group that the woman somehow lost control of the vehicle. Coleman said police removed the woman's car shortly after the wreck.

The only injuries suffered during the ordeal were some nasty cuts to Cortez's feet.

"A couple scratches on my feet, but that's nothing compared to saving a life." Cortez said.