Good Samaritans cut seat belt, rescue man whose car landed in Bear Creek

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ByNic Garcia via KFSN logo
Thursday, November 3, 2022
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Good Samaritans in Merced came to the rescue to help a man who was trapped inside a car in Bear Creek.

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Crews pulled a white Sedan from Bear Creek in Merced Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the man behind the wheel was likely speeding when he lost control.

"With all the rain we had today, the roadway was still wet at the time of the collision and alcohol is involved," says Merced police officer Craig McKeeman.

Neighbors say they heard the tires screech on the pavement before the car careened into the water near Bear Creek and Creekside drives.

Some of them rushed outside.

"We heard the -- like the gurgling of someone under the water," says Quentin Salmanas. "It wasn't the sound of an engine for sure. Immediately took action, just jumped in the water."

He had to break the windows to get to the driver and his brother had to cut the seatbelt.

Quentin says the man was coughing up a lot of water when they pulled him out. He was rushed to the hospital, where he is expected to survive.

"I think they saved his life," McKeeman said. "He was under the water when they got in there."

A heroic act, but the Good Samaritan says he doesn't feel his actions were out of the ordinary.

"I don't feel like a hero, man," Quentin said. "Honestly, I think anyone should have done that. It was spur of the moment. You never know what you're going to do, and that's the right thing to do."

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