NewsPinellas County


Largo police officer jumps into lake, holds sinking driver's head above water during rescue

Largo Police Officer Jonathon DePierre
Posted at 10:45 AM, Jan 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 02:52:44-05

LARGO, Fla. — A Largo Police Officer and four Good Samaritans are being hailed as heroes after their quick thinking helped save a woman's life.

According to the Largo Police Department, the car drove into the pond around 3:39 p.m. Friday. The driver later told police officers she could not see because it was raining.

Stephanie Fletcher was a few cars behind the 73-year-old woman, when she saw the car go into the pond. Fletcher pulled over. She said she jumped into the water along with three men.

"They (were) able to grab the back bumper and pull it more toward shore," Fletcher said.

Fletcher managed to open the door behind the driver.

"I was able to hold the lady up from behind with her shoulders," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said within seconds Officer Jonathon DePierre arrived and took over for her. Both of them held her head above water.

"We had to move her legs around 'cause her legs were kind of stuck underneath the steering wheel," Officer DePierre said.

Friday was Officer DePierre's first water rescue. He's been with the Largo Police Department for 3 years.

"I was telling her we're going to get her out of'am everything's going to be fine," Officer DePierre said.

He said it helped that the three men were holding the back part of the Honda because the front of the car was under water.

"I'm not a hero....just an officer doing his job," Officer DePierre said.

He credits the work the 4 Good Samaritans did that afternoon.

"They're the real heroes here for sure," he said.

Fletcher said she couldn't have done it without the help of everyone else.

"God put me in that position at that time to be there to help that lady. I was blessed to be there for her," Fletcher said.

Amazingly, the woman was taken to the hospital with only minor injuries. She declined an interview.

The Largo Police Department commended their officer in a Facebook post, thanking him for his fast thinking.