Teens hailed as heroes after jumping into pond, rescuing man from submerged car

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — Two teens are being hailed as heroes after jumping into a pond to rescue a man from his submerged car. The car ran off the highway following a multicar crash.

Davis Laughlin, 18, and Nathaniel Oakes, 14, showed Channel 2's Tom Regan where the car came to rest after it rolled into a pond Thursday in Coweta County.

They were returning home from a Civil Air Patrol meeting when they came upon the crash and jumped out to help.

In the dark, the teens could not see the tire marks left by the runaway car, but they could make out the taillights in the water.

"We started getting close to the car, and the water started getting deeper and deeper, until the point where we had to swim," Oakes said.


They said the car was submerged nearly halfway up the driver's side window.

"We tried to talk to him, but he was very disoriented, so we tried to yell, 'Roll down the windows. Roll down the windows,'" Laughlin said.

"He got one of his feet out, and at that point, we pulled him out. Then we lifeguarded-swam him over to the bank," Oakes said.

"He grabbed the chest area. I got the legs, and we carried him down over there," Laughlin said.

Oakes told Channel 2 Action News that, during the dramatic rescue, they relied on muscle memory of their Civil Air Patrol training.

"The adrenaline was going through us, but with all the training, you want to remain calm and control your breathing," Oakes said.

"By the time we were done, the water was up to the roof level," Laughlin said.

The man rescued, who is in his 60s, was treated and released from the hospital.