Charanay Pok was desperately trying to unbuckle her two screaming children from their seats as icy water filled her car when an “angel” appeared to help.

Moments earlier, Pok’s 2009 Toyota Camry, with her two young children in the back seat, had crashed through a guardrail, flipped several times and plunged into the Little Ossipee River in Limerick.

Pok, 24, reached into knee-high water to retrieve her cell phone near her feet and call for help, but the phone was dead. She turned to try to unbuckle her son from his car seat, but it was stuck.

Suddenly, a woman appeared next to her car, knocking on the window to help.

“We found out later it was Lisa,” Pok said Friday.

Investigators for the York County Sheriff’s Department say that without the help of Lisa Boisvert of North Waterboro, Pok, her daughter Kisani, 3, and her son Tayven, 6 months, may not have escaped from the crash Thursday on New Dam Road in Limerick.

Pok said she was on her way home to North Waterboro from her job at Home Depot about 4:30 p.m. when she fell asleep at the wheel. It had been a long day at work and she hadn’t been feeling well.

“It takes just a split second,” she said.

She was jerked awake as her car hit the guardrail after drifting into the opposite lane.

The car flipped over as it rolled down the embankment and landed upright.

“I realized we were in the water,” Pok said.

She said her original plan was to carry her children out through the rear window, which had been broken.

“I kept thinking, ‘My kids can’t die here. They can’t drown here in the car,’ ” she said.

Then Boisvert appeared after pulling over her car, telling her 7-year-old son to sit tight, and then jumping into the river to help.

Pok couldn’t open her door because of the force of the water, but Boisvert got it open. Water gushed into the car.

Pok finally managed to get her son out, still in his car seat. Boisvert relayed the baby to someone who had stopped along the road while Pok unbuckled her daughter, who was up to her neck in water.

Boisvert relayed the girl to another person and then helped Pok get out.

By then, other motorists had stopped and called for help. They offered the drenched and shivering women and children warm coats and blankets.

Pok and her children suffered bumps and bruises in the accident. They spent Thursday night at Goodall Hospital in Sanford and were released Friday afternoon.

Pok’s fiance, Peter Wells, said he is glad to have his family back home. He said his son turned 6 months old on Thursday.

The parents said they don’t expect that their children will remember the traumatic event.

Pok said that while she and Boisvert live on the same street, she had never met Boisvert before the accident. Pok said she is now eager to see her again, to tell her how grateful she and her family are.

“Thank heavens Lisa was there. She was our angel, very selfless and very brave,” Pok said.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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