LUMBERTON — Two sheriff’s detectives are being credited with saving the lives of a mother and her 3-year-old daughter by diving into a swamp and pulling them from their sinking vehicle.
Rashida Sinclair and her daughter were trapped inside a Mercury Milan after it left Pleasant Hope Road and crashed into the swamp on Wednesday. Sinclair called emergency responders after losing control of her vehicle, and sheriff’s deputies and the Lumberton Fire and Rescue departments were dispatched.
Detective Alex Monroe, a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, and Lt. Richie Adams, also a detective and a 13-year veteran, were the first to reach the scene, arriving in separate vehicles.
Monroe said he instinctively jumped into the 50-degree water on an unseasonably winter warm day, not even thinking about his own safety.
“Death didn’t even cross my mind,” Monroe said. “We both dove in at the same time. We just knew we had to try and get that mother and child out of the water as fast as possible.”
Adams said after they pulled the two to safety, an ambulance rushed them to Southeastern Regional Medical Center, where they were treated and released. Neither was seriously injured.
“The water was so cold,” Adams said.. “The little baby was worth it though. You could tell they were terrified when the car finally started going all the way down.”
Sheriff Kenneth Sealey feels as though the “two humble detectives went above and beyond.”
“They need to be commended,” Sealey said. “If it wasn’t for them, Highway Patrol would be working two deaths instead of a vehicle recovery. They need to be recognized.”