There are places in every town that the locals know require a little extra care to navigate. Whether it’s a blind corner, a tricky turn or a perilous pothole, features like these can cause major issues during poor conditions or for those not familiar with the terrain.
On Wednesday afternoon, a car in Merced, California, careened off the slick road and into Bear Creek.
“With all the rain we had today, the roadway was still wet at the time of the collision and alcohol is involved,” Merced police officer Craig McKeeman said, according to KFSN-TV.
Locals are well aware of the spot, saying that the creek is known for being an issue for drivers and calling it “Dead Man’s Curve.” One person even commented on a community post regarding the incident that it was the third car to go into the creek in the last week or so.
“Officers responded to the area of Bear Creek Drive and Brookside Drive at around 5 Wednesday afternoon,” the post by Merced Golden Wire News shared.
“The occupant remained trapped inside the submerged vehicle until Samaritans in the area jumped inside to help him get out through the sunroof according to witnesses.
“The driver was the only occupant in the vehicle and he is currently being checked by Riggs ambulance.”
It was thanks to two neighbors, though, that the driver is alive today. Quentin Salamanas and his brother approached the scene ready to help.
“We heard this — like the gurgling of someone under the water,” Salmanas told KFSN. “It wasn’t the sound of an engine for sure, you know. And I don’t know, immediately took action, just jumped in the water.”
Salmanas broke the window and his brother cut the man’s seat belt. The man was coughing up lots of water as he was taken away, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.
Officer McKeeman acknowledged the brothers’ efforts, saying that in his opinion, they’re the reason the driver lived to see another day.
“I think they saved his life,” McKeeman said. “He was under the water when they got in there.”
“I don’t feel like a hero, man,” Salmanas said. “Honestly, I feel like anyone should have done that. You know in the spur of the moment. You never know what you’re going to do, and that’s the right thing to do.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.