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Residents rescue driver after car crashes into intracoastal waters in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Daly was fishing for trout about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when he caught a glimpse of a gray BMW partially submerged in the Intracoastal Waterway.

Daly, of St. Petersburg, dove off his fishing boat and swam to help.

Virginia resident Gus Hertz, who saw the crash from his nearby condo window, also joined the rescue near the Isla Key Bridge along the Pinellas Bayway.

"I couldn't see him, but he was unconscious," Daly said. "He was waking up real slow."

Witnesses said the driver, Demetrios Provias, 63, of South Pasadena, drove his BMW off the side of the road, down an embankment and over a seawall. Authorities said Provias had a diabetic episode and passed out.

Daly said he used rope to tie the car to a concrete post under the bridge to keep the vehicle from floating away. Then he opened the passenger door.

Daly and Hertz pulled the man out and got him atop the car.

Nearby resident Bruce Henderson, 83, of St. Petersburg, said he never saw a car run off that road.

"He was lucky because he could have drowned," Henderson said. "He must have had a stroke or something."

St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the bridge after getting calls about the accident.

Paramedics transported the driver to Palms of Pasadena Hospital. The driver was in stable condition, said Joel Granata of St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue.

Good Samaritans rescue driver from sinking car

View Larger MapKEN WALKER | Times

Residents rescue driver after car crashes into intracoastal waters in St. Petersburg 06/13/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 5:14pm]
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