Woman rescues man who fell from wheelchair into Chandler canal

CHANDLER, AZ - A woman made a split second decision and saved a man’s life.

Karen Danner travels along the canal in a Chandler neighborhood every day, but on Wednesday evening her timing was life-saving.

Firefighters say a man who fell into the canal near McQueen Road and the Loop 202 might not be alive if not for Danner.

As she was riding her bike, she saw an empty wheelchair beside the canal and when she got close she noticed a man struggling to stay afloat.

“I saw his face go under and I thought ‘he can’t breathe,’” Danner said.

Danner told ABC15 the man was in his wheelchair feeding ducks when he fell into the water.

“He was unable to speak, his legs weren’t moving,” Danner said.

She didn’t waste any time.

“I slid down the cement into the water, I wasn’t sure how deep it was,” Danner said.

She helped keep the man’s head above water and tried to keep him calm until firefighters arrived.

The man was taken to the hospital where he is reportedly recovering.

Danner says she’s just glad she got there when she did.

“I'm so glad we stopped,” she said. “I hope everyone has an opportunity to help and takes it."

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