Man escapes car as it sinks in pond off I-295

Car submerged at St. Johns Bluff entrance to highway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man managed to get out of his car Thursday after it went into a pond off the St. Johns Bluff Road entrance to Interstate 295. He was soaked and shaken, but unhurt.

A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman said the man was standing on the hood of the Toyota Prius when the first officers arrived about 1 p.m. They got him out of the pond and he was checked over by rescue personnel.

The driver didn't want to give his name, but told News4Jax he was trying to get on I-295 and had to swerve to avoid rear-ending traffic stopped on the ramp. When his car landed in the pond and water started rising, he broke out the window, grabbed his license, the vehicle's title and a bag and got out.

"It was God. He gave me the confidence and the instinct to get out safely without being hurt," he said. "I jumped in the water when I realized it was going under and there wasn’t a second to think."

There were several police officers and a tow truck at the scene for some time, but no roads were ever closed to traffic.

A member of the JSO dive team told News4Jax this was the fourth vehicle that has gone into area ponds since that stretch of I-295 opened.

About the Author: