Strangers help father pull boy from accident near St Pete school - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Strangers help father pull boy from accident near St Pete school

Posted: Updated:
Richard Aikman, former firefighter and bystander, helped pull people from the water Richard Aikman, former firefighter and bystander, helped pull people from the water
ST PETERSBURG -

 St. Petersburg police cited the woman who caused a multi-car pile-up where cars ended up in a creek, with careless driving.
A group of strangers helped a father pull his 8-year-old son from a car in a St. Petersburg canal Tuesday as it sat upside-down and filled with

water according to police and eyewitness accounts.

"We didn't even know there was a kid trapped in there until a few minutes after the dad came out with the other kid," said Richard Aikman, a former firefighter who was one of the first to jump into the water. "You can either choose to stand and watch or choose to do something so I chose to do something."

It all started because of a chain-reaction car accident on 77th Avenue North, just down the street from Sawgrass Elementary School. Police think Tari Denehy, of St. Petersburg, lost control of her gold Chevy SUV, for some reason, rear-ended another vehicle, which caused a crash involving four other cars.

Her SUV also went into the canal with four children inside. All made it out okay and went to the hospital to get checked out.

But witnesses pulling up to the scene realized something was wrong in the silver Kia positioned upside-down behind the SUV.

The father had rushed to pull out his 9-year-old, but the boy's younger brother was still trapped inside.

"He was in there probably a minute, minute and a half - maybe two minutes not breathing," Aikman said. "He was buckled in. His seatbelt was locked. We couldn't get it undone."

The small group of people in the water were scrambling to figure out how to cut the boy out. It just so happens that Jason Schwartzwalder was standing right there on the bank. His boss lives across the street and Jason had come here this morning to do landscaping but didn't go to work because of the rain. Jason had a knife in his pocket.

"I just reached in my pocket and I flung it right to them probably 20 yards and he [caught it]," he said.

Witnesses believe it was the father who used the knife to cut the boy from the belt. That was just about the time Michelle Yocum ran up to the scene.

"People were just screaming...and they got him out. The boy was blue," she said.

She started to do CPR.

"I just breathed into his mouth and nothing happened. Then I tried to open his mouth but his teeth were clinched," she remembered.

When she went to lift his head, something happened.

"I opened his mouth and he started coughing and then he started crying," she said. "If they hadn't gotten him out - it just would've been a different story."

Paramedics took the 8 and 9 -ear-old boys along with their father to Bayfront Medical Center. Police believe all should be okay.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:15:59 GMT
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
  • Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:01:38 GMT
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
  • Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-08-26 12:16:28 GMT
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tanker overturns on I-75, spills gas, closes lanes for hours

    Tanker overturns on I-75, spills gas, closes lanes for hours

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-08-27 13:01:49 GMT
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 near Fruitville Road are blocked Wednesday morning after an accident.
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 near Fruitville Road are blocked Wednesday morning after an accident.
  • School officials to explain new Florida Standards

    School officials to explain new Florida Standards

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:13 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:13:59 GMT
    The majority of state's now use Common Core, a learning system that demands the same basics for every student. This school year, Florida is rolling out it's own tweaked version called the Florida Standards.
    The majority of state's now use Common Core, a learning system that demands the same basics for every student. This school year, Florida is rolling out it's own tweaked version called the Florida Standards.
  • Duke Energy to announce changes

    Duke Energy to announce changes

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:02 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:02:58 GMT
    Jolted by customers fed up with Duke's rollout of a plan to avoid duplicating meter reader routes, it appears the utility is ready to throw in the towel. Wednesday morning, we expect the company to announce changes that could include bill credits.
    Jolted by customers fed up with Duke's rollout of a plan to avoid duplicating meter reader routes, it appears the utility is ready to throw in the towel. Wednesday morning, we expect the company to announce changes that could include bill credits.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.