Clearwater Fire Medics save 91-year-old man from sinking car after crashing into pond

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Crews with Clearwater Fire and Rescue pulled a 91-year-old man out of a sinking car after it crashed into a pond on Friday. 

Two firefighters were first on scene and immediately jumped into the water and saved the man from the car where he was trapped.

"He just went to the spot with the last air pocket. He was still breathing. He was just hoping somebody could get to him," said Paul Sudduth, a fire medic with Clearwater Fire and Rescue.

The crash happened on Camelot Drive off Montclair Road in Clearwater. 

Fire Medic Paul Sudduth and Fire Medic Andrew Sullivan were the two crew members who pulled the man from the sinking car and saved his life. 

FHP troopers said the 91-year-old man lost control after trying to park. He accelerated and drove his vehicle into a pond.

Charles and Theresa Mcallister said they left their home to run errands. They noticed the car in their neighborhood retention pond. The couple called for help. 

"They got the door open, got the person out who had been inside, swam him over to the bank of the pond. He was out. He was alert," said Theresa Mcallister.

The couple watched as Clearwater Fire Medics responded within minutes and rescued the man.

Charles remained call as he spoke to a 911 dispatcher. He credits his career in the Army. 

"As I'm standing here, more of the vehicle is submerging and there are bubbles coming up. I don't know how deep this pond is," said Charles Mcallister to a 911 dispatcher. "They have got to hurry because I don't know how much more...how much of an oxygen pocket they have inside."

The fire medics and the couple do not consider themselves heroes.

"Somebody else needed help. We were fortunate to be there," said Charles.

"It was just a chain reaction and I'm just glad to be a part of it," said Sudduth.

Paramedics took the elderly man to a local hospital as a precaution for treatment. He was in stable condition. 

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