Published: Mar 27, 2013 4:39 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 27, 2013 11:42 PM EDT

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- A former state trooper's quick thinking saves a Charlotte County's woman's life.

On Wednesday, a woman's car went into a canal near U.S. 41 and Conway Blvd. Ed Pope jumped in after her, pulling her to safety.

This is not the first time Pope has sprung into action.

"I knew that it was kind of like a race against time," Pope said.

He says his natural instincts clicked in when he say two cars collide. Both cars ended in the middle of the road. He ran to check on the driver of one of the vehicles, fearing the worst.

"She was not responsive and as far as I was concerned, I thought she was dead. Then I realized that the car was not in gear. At that time I kind of reached inside the vehicle and as I reached in to try to shift it in park, what happened is her body shifted and hit the accelerator and took me for a ride."

The vehicle with the driver and Pope headed straight for the water.

"All I see is my sister's car in the middle of the road and my niece going oh my god, and running to the canal," said witness Kristi Werden. "And I'm just like oh my god what happened?"

Pope was hanging out of the driver's side window. He jumped out before the car hit the water. Then Pope jumped in the canal and pulled the driver out of the vehicle.

"I pulled her over the hood of the car, I could feel the car continuing to sink down. I told her everything was going to be okay, I was going to bring her to safety and I just started side stroking back."

Pope got them both to dry land.

You may recognize Ed Pope's name, he also ran for Charlotte County sheriff, but he is probably best known for arresting Michael King in the Denise Amber Lee murder case back in 2008.