Chris Ursum, wire technician in Port St. Lucie, Florida, had just gotten off work when his buddy, Aldolfo Izeta, called him. Aldolfo’s truck had broken down and he needed a tow.
“As I was hooking up his truck to mine, a car drove straight through a stop sign and into the lake,” Chris said. “We saw the windows were up. So I grabbed a stick and Aldolfo grabbed a rock and we jumped in to help.”
Good Samaritans to the rescue
Two older ladies were in the car. They didn’t want to get out because neither could swim.
“We tried to break the windows, but it didn’t work,” Chris said. “We convinced the driver to put the windows down.”
And just in time. The front end of the car went underwater 5 seconds later. The electric windows would no longer have worked.
It was a rural area and onlookers started to gather. Chris helped the driver out of her seatbelt and pulled her from the car. He swam with her towards land, and yelled for others to meet him to get her the rest of the way. Chris swam back to help Aldolfo with the second woman.
“Aldolfo and I pulled the passenger out of the car,” Chris said. “She was fighting us to get her purse.”
Ten seconds later, the car was totally underwater.
No hesitation to help others
“Once we finally got to land, I walked a couple of feet and collapsed,” Chris said. “Our legs locked up from the adrenaline rush.”
The lake had an immediate drop-off of 8 feet deep – no shallow end. Chris didn’t have time to take off his work boots or uniform. His mind was on the people in the car.
“Chris came into work and said his boots were soaking wet,” said Steve Johnson, network services manager. “I saw it on the news, but they didn’t tell the whole story. He definitely saved their lives before others arrived.”
There was no doubt in Steve’s mind that Chris did something very heroic and courageous.
“He swims well and is not afraid of the water. It didn’t surprise me that he would jump in to help.”
Happy ending for all
Apparently the driver hit the gas instead of the brake. The women were in complete shock after the rescue. Thanks to Chris and Aldolfo’s quick actions, neither woman had to go to the hospital after the paramedics checked them out.
“We went back to the scene later and the ladies were there,” Chris said. “They were there with their pastor. They called us guardian angels.”
“Something happened for a reason to put us there at that time,” Chris said. “The ladies couldn’t have helped themselves.
“I thought we were going to watch them drown. Once we got them out of the car, it was a breath of fresh air. It was the most rewarding feeling of my life to have them out and okay.”