Devin McEwen got to work Thursday morning soaking wet, not because of the rain but because he had just jumped into a pond to save the life of a woman whose car had veered off the road into the water.
"I started running toward the SUV and then I seen a splash from behind the fence and I got sick to my stomach," McEwen said. "Continued running towards the splash and I didn't know what I was going to see when I got there."
When McEwen got to the other side of the fence, he said he saw a woman fighting for her life right next to her SUV that was slowly sinking in the pond. McEwen said he instantly emptied his pockets and jumped in after her.
"I asked if she was OK, but she never could answer my questions," he said. "And I tried to calm her down and started asking her what's her name, where you going, where's she from, and she started talking a little."
The woman was taken to Orange Park Medical Center in good condition.
McEwen said he was making his usual drive to work on Blanding Boulevard northbound when the accident happened. He said the woman's Chevrolet Trailblazer was in front of his when it swerved off the road, crossing the southbound lanes, hitting a fence and landing in a retention pond at the corner of Blanding and Old Jennings Road.
Multiple 911 calls came in immediately. One man even saw McEwen and another man trying to help the woman out.
McEwen said thinking about what could have happened to the woman if he wasn't there to help is terrifying.
"I would hate to say it, but she maybe could have started inhaling water," he said. "She was crying and breathing heavy and stuff, so I don't know what would have happened. I'm just thankful I was there."
McEwen said he's just glad he was at the right place at the right time and he hopes the woman is doing OK.
The truck was pulled from the pond and put on a flatbed wrecker by a man that specializes in water recoveries.
"The first, initial call was they needed a driver -- they had a vehicle in the retention pond, so I responded," said driver Michael Sible.
Clay County Fire-Rescue crews and the Clay County Sheriff's Office were investigating why the SUV went into the pond.