Volusia County firefighter Lt. Jeremiah Greathouse was on vacation in St. Augustine with his family, about to do some back-to-school shopping for his kids, when they watched a car hop a curb and drive straight into a retention pond, reports The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
“I told my wife to call 9-1-1 and just dropped what I was doing,” Greathouse said in a phone interview Saturday.
He said he and a couple of good Samaritans immediately went into the murky retention pond Friday afternoon near U.S. 1 and State Road 312 and could see the four-door sedan was filling up with water while an elderly man in the driver’s seat was still inside.
Greathouse said he told the driver to turn the car back on and attempt to use the power locks and open the door.
“It was a little chaotic,” Greathouse said. “The window went down part of the way, and as soon as it did the car flooded and went under.”
Unable to stand in the deep retention pond, the group struggled to keep the car somewhat afloat while Greathouse unbuckled the man’s seatbelt and pulled him from the car, which Greathouse estimates was submerged about 30 seconds before he could pull the driver out.
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