MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- A local man is being hailed as a hero after jumping into a retention pond in Middleburg to save a stranger.
Frantic 911 calls flooded into the Clay County Sheriff's Office Thursday morning from drivers on Blanding Boulevard near Old Jennings Road.
"Went across three lanes of traffic in front of us and ran off the road. Went straight through the fence and in the pond," said one caller to 911 dispatch. "He's in the pond. There's people trying to get him out."
The sheriff's office says it was actually a woman behind the wheel of the SUV, Tammy Miller. Before her vehicle even hit the water, Devin McEwen was running at a dead sprint towards her.
"I started, you know, 'Are you OK, are you OK?' and I just heard more cries and more cries," he told Action News.
Running on instinct and adrenaline, he tried opening the woman's driver-side door to get her out. It was stuck. He went for the backseat door and said that's when the danger escalated.
"When that door opened a lot of water started rushing in and the rear end of the vehicle started sinking more and it kind of sucked me in a little," he said.
Finally, he said Miller grabbed his shoulders and he pulled her out of the water. As soon as she was safe with rescue crews, he checked his watch and ran back to his own car.
"I had an 8:30 meeting we have every Thursday," he said of needing to get in to work.
McEwen said normally he'd be in big trouble showing up late. He walked into Adamec Harley Davidson at 8:37 a.m.
"I was walking up to the meeting, no boots on, no shoes on, soaking wet," McEwen said. "They said there better be a good reason I'm here late and wet, without shoes on. So, it was a pretty good reason."
The Clay County Sheriff's Office is investigating what caused Miller to go off the road. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution.