St. Johns County

‘You have to stop, you have to help:’ 2 St. Johns County teens recognized for helping save lives

Two teenage boys whose heroic actions saved the lives of two people involved in a car crash received an award from St. Johns County Fire Rescue.

“Our immediate reaction was to go out and help,” Gabriel Caez said.


Gabriel and Kyle Atwater didn’t hesitate when they saw other drivers in trouble.

The teens said they were on the way home from their high school prom, on International Golf Parkway, when they saw one car on the side of the road that eventually caught fire, and another car flipped over.

Read: Two St. Johns County residents recognized for helping save lives from multi-vehicle crash

Kyle and Gabriel were there even before the first responders.

“As soon as we saw that, me and Gabe just hopped out and started seeing if people were OK,” said Kyle.

Kyle described what he saw on the night of April 21.

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The girl in the car that was in fire, they were out, they were bleeding at the head, but they were out, and they were safe,” Kyle said. “I noticed that there was a woman who was in the car, she was still breathing but she was trapped, so we made the choice to flip the car back over.”

We still don’t know the condition of the woman who was trapped in the car, but St. Johns County officials said Gabriel and Kyle’s quick thinking saved precious time for first responders to provide medical care.

Two months later, St. Johns County Fire Rescue presented the teens with a certificate of commendation.

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“That was really nice. I just expected a thank you, so when we got there, and they called us up and handed us stuff,” Gabriel said.

Kyle said he and Gabriel are just glad they were in the right place to make a difference.

“It’s not like you can just drive past something like that. You have to stop, you have to help, you have to give it your all,” Kyle said.

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