A Long Beach dive team rescued a woman after she crashed her sport utility vehicle off a bridge Thursday morning and into the LA River.
Early reports indicated a woman pulled from the water was dead, but authorities later confirmed that she survived.
About an hour after being rescued, the woman was in "critical condition, responding to treatment with her family at the hospital," said Battalion Chief Frank Hayes. She remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon.
The vehicle -- possibly a Chevrolet Suburban or GMC Tahoe -- was traveling westbound toward the northbound 710 Freeway when it crashed through a guardrail on the bridge at 7th Street. Long Beach police and fire received the call at about 7:30 a.m.
The bridge connects the 710 Freeway with downtown Long Beach.
Long Beach firefighter Joshua Johnson said the car plunged about 20 to 30 feet off the bridge and sank in 10 to 15 feet of water. A witness said he dialed 911 after watching the SUV crash off the bridge.
Hayes said the vechile landed upright with the rear facing a bank of the river. Hayes said the divers noted that all windows on the vehicle were rolled up.
"We're very fortunate that the Long Beach Fire Department actually has a dive team in the city," Hayes said. "They were in the water within about 15 minutes from when they received the call."
Divers pulled the woman out of the water about a half-hour after the crash report.
Authorities initially thought two other people might be in the car but Johnson said she was alone.
The SUV was hoisted from the river at about 11:15 a.m.
The Long Beach Police Department and California Highway Patrol are attempting to determine what led to the crash.