A B.C. Mountie is being hailed as a hero for using his fist to smash through a window in order to save a woman from a submerged car.

The woman called 911 on Wednesday to report that her car had gone into a ditch in Chilliwack and flipped onto its roof. As she told the operator that her car was quickly filling with water, the line was disconnected, said RCMP in a news release on Thursday.

Chilliwack RCMP arrived at the scene to find the car with only its tires exposed.

Several officers entered the water to try to lift the car up to expose one of the windows. An officer used punched it several times with his fist and managed to break it. He was then able to pull the woman to safety.

The 18-year-old driver was treated for hypothermia at the Chilliwack hospital.

"By the time police reached me, the water was up to my neck," said the victim, who did not want to be identified. "A bunch of the officers went in the water to lift the car and the next thing I knew I was being pulled out, we had to swim. I am just so grateful to everyone who was there yesterday to help me."

The officer who smashed the window suffered a bad sprain and received several stitches. "This is such a heroic act," said RCMP Cst. Tracy Wolbeck.

After the woman's car was pulled from the water, a guardian angel ornament was found that she didn't know was in the vehicle, said Wolbeck. It now hangs on the woman's Christmas tree.

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