A woman crashed her car into a freezing river. A FedEx driver saw it happen and saved her

Brandon Alt jumped into freezing water to save a woman who had crashed her car. Alt has been driving the route since August. By Amanda Jackson, CNN

(CNN) -- A FedEx Express driver is being hailed a hero by police after he jumped into freezing water to save a woman who had crashed her car.

Brandon Alt said he was just getting started on his delivery route that goes through Truckee, California, on Monday, when the car in front of him veered off the road and into the river below.

"As I was following her she was weaving in and out of the lane," Alt, 34, told CNN on Wednesday. "She almost hit two vehicles that were coming in the opposite direction."

They were traveling on River Road, a winding road that offers a scenic view of the area with the Truckee River on one side. The river is an outlet of Lake Tahoe and flows more than 120 miles crossing into Nevada.

"One wrong move and there's not much separating between the roadway and river," California Highway Patrol Officer Jacob Williams told CNN.

The driver of the car was distracted by her phone, according to police. She told them she was going to call a family member to sing "Happy Birthday."

"By the time she looked up she was heading into the river," said Williams.

Alt pulled his SUV over on the side of the road, threw his hazard lights on, slid down the embankment and trudged through the icy water to help the woman stuck in her submerging vehicle.

He said he couldn't get the driver's door open so told her to climb into the back seat. The depth of the water was about four or five feet, according to Williams.

"I tried the back door handle and I pulled on it," said Alt. "I thought it was locked at first but I think it was the current of the water keeping it closed."

Once Alt had the door open, he said water flooded the car instantly.

"I didn't know if the vehicle was going to break free and go further down the river," he said.

He helped the woman out of the car and to the embankment where he was able to call 911.

It was snowing outside and the temperature was in the 30s, according to Williams.

"It is heroic and quite out of the norm," said Williams. "There's not many people that would be willing to do that and go into the freezing river."

As for Alt, he says he doesn't see himself as a hero.

"I was at the right place at the right time," he said. "I hope that anyone else in that situation would have done something similar."

Once help arrived, Alt gave police his information and then went back to his delivery route -- wet clothes and all.

"My manager said to stop at a thrift store and get some dry clothes," said Alt. "But I just wanted to continue to get my work done."

He said his pants dried by the end of his route but his work boots and socks didn't.

The driver didn't sustain any major injuries, except seat belt rash, according to Williams, and she is recovering at home. Williams added that she hasn't been cited for the accident at this time.

"We don't get into the penalty phase until after the investigation of the accident."

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