Quick-acting bystanders save lives in canal crash

Mike Krumboltz
Yahoo News

A group of bystanders sprang into action after several cars careened into a canal near St. Petersburg, Fla.

One of the cars flipped over in the canal, trapping an 8-year-old boy inside, WFTS reported.

"I heard slam, crash and splash," Richard Aikman told WFTS. Aikman ran from his home and discovered a five-car wreck that resulted in two cars in a nearby canal.

The driver of one of the cars, William J. Bacheler, was able to free one of the boys. Bacheler started yelling for help when he realized he couldn't do the same for the other.

Aikman said that he and two others tried to get the car's door open to free the boy, who had become tangled in a stuck seat belt. Aikman yelled for a knife to cut the belt. Somebody threw the rescuers a pocket knife and the driver was able to free the boy.

Another unidentified rescuer told WFTS that the boy appeared blue when he was first brought to shore. A woman gave him CPR and the boy started crying. "We were all pretty elated," the rescuer told WFTS.

The rescue was truly a group effort. Also contributing was Michele Mason, who dove into the water and helped bring the older boy to shore, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The cause of the accident is being investigated. According to the Tampa Bay Times, another driver was charged with careless driving after she apparently rammed into Bacheler's car, causing the accident.