UPDATE: The Good Samaritan has been located.
PREVIOUS STORY: AUBURNDALE, Fla. (WFLA) – An Auburndale family is turning to social media with the hope it will help them find the mystery Good Samaritan who risked his life to rescue their loved one.
William Land, 47, suffers from seizures. He’s suffered at least 40 of them during his life. He doesn’t have signs before a seizure occurs, he explained.
Land was on his way home from visiting his sister around 5 p.m. Wednesday when he had a seizure. He was driving eastbound on Interstate 4 and lost control of his car near exit 33. The car sped through a fence with such force that a pole on the fence impaled Land’s car. The pole crashed through the windshield and the passenger seat before becoming lodged in the back seat (see photos). That pole missed Land by just inches.
Land was strapped in the front seat as the car was sinking in the pond. The car was almost totally under water when a mystery man rescued Land. Land told News Channel 8 he had no recollection of what happened. The seizure caused him to black out. He couldn’t remember drifting off the interstate.
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“Some guy went after him and pulled him out of the car,” Land’s stepdaughter Elizabeth Whitehead said. “Someone put their life in danger to save him.”
Land lives with Whitehead, who was in New Jersey when the accident happened. “It was quite scary for me. My first instinct was to get up and go,” she said.
The Good Samaritan stayed with Land until medics arrived to take him to the hospital.
Amazingly, Land was not injured during the ordeal. Whitehead’s fiancée picked Land up from the hospital and brought him home. Land told News Channel 8 he is turning in his driver’s license because he realizes he put other people’s lives in danger.
“If I hurt me, that’s one thing. If I hurt an innocent bystander on the road, I would never live with it,” he said.
Whitehead says the name of the mysterious Good Samaritan was not included in the Florida Highway Patrol crash report. Land, Whitehead and other family members want to meet him to thank him in person – especially Land.
“God was watching out for me, and he put me in that right position so that pole would miss me,” Land told News Channel 8. “He don’t know how much that means to me for them to have pulled me out like that and saved my life.”
“He was glad that someone helped him out. He’s thankful he’s alive,” Whitehead said.
Land’s sister also told News Channel 8 how much it would mean to the family to find the Good Samaritan. “It’s very important that somebody that done this knows how grateful we are,” said Charlotte Cumbie, Land’s sister.
Now, the family is turning to social media with the hope of finding the mysterious Good Samaritan who jumped into the pond to save Land.
His niece, Samantha Durrence, contacted WFLA News Channel 8 asking for help. “Unfortunately, there was no name in the police report, but we would like to give a huge ‘thank you’ that they so much deserve to the person who pulled him out,” Durrence said. “He definitely had an angel with him that night.”
If you think you know who the Good Samaritan is, email Elizabeth Whitehead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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