ORLANDO, Fla. – Body camera video shows a 12-year-old boy sobbing and begging for Orlando Police Department officers to save his father and young brother who were trapped inside a submerged vehicle.
The water rescue happened Thursday around 7:20 p.m. in the area of Lee Vista Boulevard and Vista East Parkway.
Records show a 44-year-old man was driving a red Nissan Sentra with his 12-year-old and 4-year-old sons in tow when an animal jetted out into the roadway, causing the man to lose control as he swerved.
The sedan ended up hitting a curb and then crossing over a median and into a retention pond after the driver accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, according to the report.
A 48-year-old man who was in the area at the time saw the crash and immediately rushed into the water to help the family. That bystander held the 4-year-old boy’s head above water as he called 911.
Body camera video shows that as officers arrived, the 12-year-old boy had just escaped the wreckage and was wading through the water.
“Please, please, please just help them. Just help them, please. Please help them. Please help, help them,” the boy said, screaming at times.
The child told first responders that his father and 4-year-old brother, who was strapped in a car seat, were still trapped.
Records show the Orlando Fire Department along with Corp. Randy Johnson, Officer McKenzie Greene and Officer Tyler Smith were able to extract the father and the young boy.
Greene, Johnson and Smith described the harrowing rescue during a news conference Monday afternoon.
“Myself and Smith were actually were basically full body in the trunk trying to figure out a way to knock down the seats. I know at one point because my arm was the smallest, we reached all the way through and I was grabbing like a toddler’s arm, just doing everything we could to keep him above water,” Greene said.
All three said it was their first time being involved in this type of situation.
“Your heart definitely sinks to the bottom of your stomach whenever you see that and especially a car flipped upside down and then opening the door and then seeing a car seat flipped upside down as well definitely gives you a little shivers,” Johnson said.
Like the other two officers, Smith credited the bystander who held the 4-year-old boy’s head above water.
“He called 911, he also went into the water and held the child’s head above water before we got there. Personally, I believe in God and God definitely put him in that position to ultimately save lives,” Smith said.
Both children were taken to Nemours Children’s Hospital, where their mother met them, and the father was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Their injuries were described as non-life-threatening.