Firefighters credit man for saving 2 from Central Fresno canal

FRESNO, Calif.

The dramatic rescue happened around 3 a.m. near Olive and Blackstone.

Richard Llewellyn was driving home from his second job when he saw a frantic woman screaming near the Central Fresno canal.

" She is just sitting there yelling they are in the water, they are in the water and then I walked up like this and they are hanging right on the green grass," Llewellyn said.

Fresno firefighters say when Richard pulled up a man had already tried to save the lady who drove her SUV into the canal, but both ended up falling in.

"The girl was numb she was just delirious, I don't know how long they had been in the water, you could tell they were both just ready to let go," Llewellyn said.

Richard grabbed ropes from the back of the truck and quickly got to work. He tied up the young lady and dragged her to safety.

"I am dragging her up that steep embankment and she is crying, it hurts, it hurts. The girl was frozen. She was so cold and I knew it hurt and I told her honey it's better than dying let's go," Llewellyn said.

That is when Richard says he quickly realized the man was being pushed downstream in the fast moving current. Rescue crews say he Richard ran to a spot by the canal and used a rope to hold onto the drowning man.

"I said you can't go nowhere and I can't go no where . It'll be okay and just seconds later an officer showed up," Llewellyn said.

Although Richard does not want to be called a hero firefighters say his courage and quick thinking may have saved two lives

" It's very treacherous the velocity is very very fast, now the fact that this was non-professional it was an extremely valiant effort to do what he did," said Tony Escobedo with the Fresno Fire Department.

Although Llewellyn actions were valiant firefighters do not recommend the public do anything like this because it is very dangerous. Richard said he wants to meet the two people he helped save, all he knows is that the man's name is Tim.

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