Jacksonville man meets rescuers who saved his life

Man survives April hit-and-run crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville man who survived after a crash pushed his car into a retention pond recently met with some of the people who helped save his life in April.

Thursday was a very special night for 56-year-old Stefan Cosa.

"God bless you sir," Cosa said to Paul Tillman, a retired firefighter and paramedic. "I have thought about you and I am grateful that you did what you did. I ask why did this man do what he did. It is because you have love in your heart."

Back in April, after Cosa was submerged into a retention pond following a crash, Tillman and several others helped pull him out.

"He looks a little dry now," said Tillman.

Cosa was slowing down near the intersection of Chaffee Road and 103rd Street when troopers said the driver of a minivan behind him failed to slow down and plowed into Cosa, sending his car into the water.

"When we pulled him out, he had no heart beat. He was not breathing," said David Neil.

Neil said that another person performed CPR on Cosa until help arrived, but Cosa's fight wasn't over.

Later at the hospital, Cosa slipped into a coma but luckily, Cosa pulled through and Thursday night, he got a chance to thank those who saved his life.

"I have gratefulness in my heart for what happened. I was so close to being gone and now I am here talking," said Cosa. "What else can I say? Praise the Lord."

Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.