10/01/2012 01:36 pm ET

Ursula Nixon, 84-Year-Old Woman, Rescued From Sinking Car By Onlookers After Driving Into Portland Harbor (VIDEO)

Ursula Nixon, an 84-year-old woman in Portland, Maine, is lucky to be alive after experiencing what officials there have termed the "perfect storm of events."

The woman lost control of her car Friday afternoon while driving down Portland's waterfront, reports WGME. Nixon sped through a stop sign, two fences, and an ocean-front barrier before finally coming to rest in the Portland Harbor.

"It looked like it was barreling pretty fast," said one onlooker, Michael Wells, to the Portland Press Herald. "I saw it go over the edge and then water splashed up." Wells, along with an estimated 30 other bystanders, immediately ran to the submerged vehicle to help, with 7 or 8 swimming to the car to pull Nixon out before it sunk.

Another onlooker, Anette Rice, told WGME good Samaritans pulled Nixon from the vehicle's rear window "just as the woman was to go under."

According to WMTW, firefighters responded to the accident within 30 seconds. Their quick response resulted from a training exercise they were participating in nearby.

"It was perfect," Steve Smith, the acting fire chief, explained to WMTW. "It was the right place with the right people at the right time... it was a great save for everybody."

Emergency workers transported Nixon to Maine Medical Center, adds the Portland Press Herald where she was listed in "fair" condition Friday night. No one else was injured by the accident and subsequent rescue.



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