A car crash in St-Charles-Sur-Richelieu left a 38-year-old woman dead in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police said the woman's vehicle was heading down Patriot St. toward Sorel at 1:45 a.m. when she missed a curve.

The car struck a hydro pole, cutting it in half, and landed upside down in four feet of water.

Neighbours heard a bang and called police.

"We heard the collision and we got up," said Nathalie Legare. "We didn't see the car at first."

A Surete du Quebec officer patrolling in the area jumped in the water and tried to break the window, assisted by a volunteer firefighter.

They were only able to pull the victim out when a tow truck arrived.

"I could tell the police officer was trying his best to open the car door but the cold water and darkness prevented him from getting the victim out of the vehicle," said witness Francois Perra.

Perra said the crash wasn't the first in that location.

Police said it appears the woman was not wearing a seat belt. The woman was found in the back seat of the car and police said she may have been trying to escape the vehicle. 

She was taken to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.