Elderly woman found dead after driving car into retention pond


WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. - Residents in a Winter Springs community believe the rains from Isaac are to blame for causing an 89-year-old woman to drive into a retention pond, killing her.

Margaret Langewisch was reported missing Monday after she didn't show up to play bridge in the Tuskawilla Trail subdivision near her Casselberry home.

On Tuesday, rescue crews found her car at the bottom of a retention pond there.

Investigators haven't said if they believe Langewisch had a medical emergency.

However, neighbors said it was raining heavily and with a drop off at the retention pond, it may have been too late when Langewisch realized she had taken a wrong turn.

"We had a torrential downpour for 10 or 15 minutes and I think that's what the problem was because she must have missed the first right and thought she was going to the clubhouse," said resident Tony Palmiotti.

Neighbors speculate Langewisch may have misjudged where she was in the heavy rains.

The road that ends at the retention pond looks similar to the one that leads to the clubhouse, which is directly next to another pond.

"She might have thought that it was just a road that looped and just didn't notice till the last second," said Palmiotti.

He lives right next to the pond, but said he never heard a splash. He was surprised to think no one may know Langewisch's Mazda was in there if maintenance men hadn't noticed the tire tracks.

"They said it was about 18 feet in the middle so that's pretty deep for a retention pond, so when that car went in it was completely submerged," said Palmiotti.

That car was so deep in the pond, neighbors said it was six hours before crews had it out.