A motorist in eastern China was rescued from her flooded car by four strangers after crashing into a river. The car ended up in the river in China's eastern Jiangsu Province on 2 May after the driver collided with another car and mistakenly stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake, according to Suzhou City traffic police.

Four Good Samaritans ran to assist the women submerged inside her vehicle – three workers from a nearby hotpot restaurant and a passing driver.

Li Mingxiong, seen climbing into the river as he helps retrieve the woman, said he could see the woman was desperately trying to smash the window. "When we arrived, we saw that the car had fallen into the river, and the female driver seemed in a panic and was trying to smash the car window with her iPhone to save herself," he said.

Li's colleague Jiang Zhong went to fetch a hammer to try and help the woman break out of the window. Together they attempted to smash open the window from the bank of the river, before eventually climbing to the roof of the car. Jiang then removed the window with his bare hands and together with the help of another colleague and the driver who saw the crash, they pulled the woman out to safety.

The men have been praised for their bravery and each received an honorary award. "I think the four Samaritans reacted very quickly and well after the accident", said traffic police officer Chen Renjing. "Due to the pressure difference in and outside of the car, it was quite difficult and almost impossible to force open the window or the door. So it was necessary for them to break the window with a hammer," he added.