On Tuesday, September 24th, a multi-vehicle traffic accident in St. Petersburg left two cars submerged under water and bystanders scrambling to help.
Two cars had fallen into a canal near 1735 77th Ave. N. One of the cars had rolled over and sank upside-down to the bottom of the 6-foot deep murky water. Near the wreckage, a 9-year-old boy struggled to stay afloat in the water.
Local resident Michelle Mason, along with a number of other accident witnesses, quickly took action and jumped into the canal to help. The 9-year-old boy was conscious and quickly pulled to safety. The boy’s father then suddenly popped up through the surface of the water yelling that his son was still trapped beneath his seat belt in the submerged car.
One of the bystanders tossed the man a knife. He cut his younger son free and brought him to shore. By then, the boy was blue and not breathing. Another witness stepped in and began performing CPR on the young boy. After a few seconds of chest compressions and mouth to mouth breaths, the boy awoke and began crying.
Emergency responders took the man and his two sons to Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg, where all three were reported to be doing fine with only minor injuries.
A total of five cars were involved in a chain-reaction accident around 2pm, near the access road to Sawgrass Lake Elementary School. According to St. Petersburg PD, a woman with four children was driving a gold Chevy Suburban east on 77th Avenue N and suddenly accelerated into the canal, knocking another car with the man and his two boys into the water with her. Charges are pending against the woman driving the SUV.