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NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – A man was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center after being rescued from a canal moments after fleeing the scene of a hit and run crash in Northwest Miami-Dade, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
The man’s vehicle was pulled from a canal three hours after a dramatic rescue off NW 57th Avenue and 202nd St.
“I was making a left turn on 57th and I saw a car going into the lake,” said Good Samaritan Braulio Galindo.
Galindo says he was on his way to dinner when he saw a blue vehicle go through the metal guardrail and into the canal. He says he and about four other Good Samaritans pulled over to save the driver.
“I jumped in. The guy was unconscious. We managed to get him out, give him CPR,” Galindo said.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, moments earlier the driver of the vehicle was involved in a hit and run crash near Miramar Parkway and NW 57th Avenue. FHP says the driver fled Southbound and somehow lost control on 202nd St. and wound up in the water.
“For a moment when I saw the vehicle started going down, I never thought I was going to be able to make it out myself,” Galindo said.
Once rescue crews arrived, divers also went in the water to make sure there was no one else in the vehicle.
FHP said the driver, the sole occupant in the car, was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center.
The Good Samaritan says the man was conscious as he was being transported to the hospital.
“I thank God up there that he used me for something good. I was in my house the whole day. I was going to go out for dinner and the next thing I know, I’m inside a lake. Thank God I save a life,” Galindo said.
FHP said the driver is facing a charge of fleeing the scene of a crash with injuries and could face other charges once the investigation is complete. Sunday evening, the driver was listed in critical condition, FHP said.