SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — It was their last night on the Island.
The Iowa State football players had just finished dinner at Daddy’s Seafood and were relaxing on their hotel balcony.
That’s when Josh Jahlas said he saw a car drive into the water just feet from their hotel room.
Luisa Maria Castro, 22 was in the car as it was sinking into the bay.
Jack Spreen, 19, and his teammates Anthony Lazard, 23 and Joe Doran, 23 saw the taillights peaking out of the water from their third floor balcony, so they ran out of their room fast to check it out.
Spreen said it took them about 30 seconds to get to the car.
“We just went in,” Spreen said. “By the time we got her out, the car had sunk.”
The football players had worked together to punch a whole in the windshield big enough to pull Castro out of her car before it sunk into a small canal on the bay side.
“We were getting after it,” Spreen said. “I took off my shoes and jumped in and Andrew and Joe followed me.”
Spreen said initially, upon arrival at the vehicle, they tried to break the driver’s side window, without success.
“It was all very fast,” Spreen said. “It took about three of four minutes and we got her out of there.”
They had to tread water while attempting to rescue Castro.
Spreen said Castro was inside the car, kicking the windshield in an effort to escape as water filled up the passenger area.
“She was very frantic,” Spreen said. “She had made a small hole in the windshield and we made it bigger.”
The car went down quickly.
“That car completely sank in less than a minute and if not for them jumping into the water and pulling the driver out, she would most certainly have drowned,” said Michael Schiltz, witnessing SPI officer.
Further investigation revealed Castro to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and she was placed under arrest.
Castro’s breathalyzer testing confirmed her BAC to be above the legal limit and therefore she was charged with driving while intoxicated, a class A violation.
The incident happened on March 16, around 8 p.m.
South Padre Island Police received a 911 call reporting a car had driven into the Laguna Madre, near the 1700 block of Laguna Blvd.
Today the football players are back on campus hitting the books and practicing spring football.
They visited the Island to have some fun and they left heroes for saving a Castro from drowning in her car in the Laguna Madre.
Spreen said he and his friends couldn’t believe they had saved a woman.