Man hospitalized after crashing car into creek - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man hospitalized after crashing car into creek

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Witnesses Sunday came to the rescue of a man who crashed his car into the water near Fiesta Island.

"I just heard a boom, turned and the car made a perfect splash. I thought he came off the bridge, didn't know he came off the corner there," good Samaritan Patrick Barrett said.

Authorities say the man was driving northbound on East Mission Bay Drive when he drove off the road around 11 this morning.  

His crashed through a guardrail and the car landed upside down in Tecolote Creek. Drivers who saw the accident rushed to help.

"I just don't wanna see something like that again. The guy's lucky. He was breathing when they took him away," one witness said.

Sunday's crash near Fiesta Island had good Samaritans working together to save the life of a man they don't know.

"It was pretty amazing...people jumping in the water. It was pretty cool," one witness said.

Investigators tell CBS News 8, the driver of the Saab sedan was speeding on northbound East Mission Bay Drive when for an unknown reason, he veered off the road, hit the curb, then went airborne landing upside down where Tecolote Creek meets Mission Bay.

Patrick Barrett was at a nearby playground with his nephew. The former ocean lifeguard immediately ran over and assisted another man.

He was driving directly behind the Saab and was the first to pull over, get in the water, and help the driver who was unconscious and still strapped in.

"He got an arm out and I got the other arm out, trying to drag him out that back door," Barrett said.

But it was difficult to perform CPR in the water. That's when Steve Cahillane, who happened to be walking by, stepped in.

"You know, I grabbed his belt and pulled him up the embankment until we got him flat on his back," he said.

Cahillane says the driver was foaming at the mouth and eventually started coughing up water by the time paramedics arrived. He was transported to UCSD Medical Center.

Meanwhile, those who helped with the rescue congratulated each other on a job well done.

Some were even treated for scrapes and bruises. Minor compared to how much worse this all could have played out.

"Luckily, there was nobody else in the car because if there was by the time paramedics arrived, it wouldn't have been good," Cahillane said.

The name of the driver has not been released.

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