Woman dies after Brevard crash sends car into retention pond

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A two-vehicle crash in south Brevard County sent one car into a retention pond, killing the car's passenger Thursday afternoon.

According to investigators, a car on Stadium Parkway ran a stop sign and struck another vehicle, sending it into the pond.

Investigators said witnesses jumped into the pond and were able to pull the driver, 71-year-old Floyd Phaneuf, from the submerged vehicle, but they could not pull Phaneuf's wife from the car.

Jill Brooks said she jumped into the pond with one thing on her mind.

"Get these people out, because I knew there were people in the car," said Brooks.

Brevard County firefighters arrived, and with the help of a Brevard Sheriff's deputy they were able to pull 78-year-old Joan Phaneuf from the submerged vehicle. She was transported to the hospital where she later died, according to investigators.

Floyd Phaneuf was flown to Holmes Regional Medical Center in serious condition.

Investigators said two people in the vehicle that ran the stop sign were injured. The driver of that car, Contesa Gissendanner, 38, was hospitalized in serious condition. Her 18-year-old passenger was taken to Viera Hospital in stable condition.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said charges are pending against Gissendanner.