A Clearwater teenager is being credited with saving the life of an elderly driver.
Jordon Litowchak, 17, was riding in the car with his mom, cousin and two best friends Sunday evening heading to a family dinner in Palm Harbor. They were driving on Highlands Blvd. when the teenagers heard a loud splash. They thought there was an alligator in a nearby pond, but as they got closer, they noticed a car had driven off the road and was in the water.
Litowchak asked his mom to stop the car. He jumped out, and saw there was a person in the driver's seat of the vehicle in the water. Without hesitation, the teen dove into the water and swam to the driver's side. The driver was struggling to get out of the sinking vehicle. Litowchak put him on his back and got him to shore.
Another person, who happened to be a hospice nurse, driving in the area stopped to help, and stayed by the driver's side until police and paramedics arrived.
"I had some adrenaline going but it was just I had to save this man. He was very emotional and crying and very thankful. I mean, of course, I'm grateful I could be here, but I don't want like anything. He doesn't need to thank me or anything. It's just a good thing to do, and I'm glad I could do that for him," said Litowchak.
Florida Highway Patrol responded the crash. Investigators say the driver, 71-year-old Daniel Vinovich, had experienced severe back spasms while driving, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and drive into the pond. The windows on his car were rolled down, which helped make it easier for Litowchak to rescue him from the vehicle.
Vinovich was not hospitalized following the crash, but planned to get checked out by a doctor later, and is certainly lucky to be alive thanks to a teenage hero.