JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford recognized two Good Samaritans this morning who helped save the life of a grandmother and a child.
Shirley Burris' was sent off Beaver Street and into a retention pond during a crash on May 8. Two Good Samaritans, Donald Jackson and Eric Sanchez, helped rescue Burris and her four-year-old passenger from the almost completely submerged SUV.
Donald Jackson was walking to work when he heard the crash and went in the water. "I didn't even know there was a baby in the vehicle, I opened up the back seat, the baby was in there, I grabbed the baby immediately, I grabbed her." As Jackson was making his way to shore, he stepped in a hole and all three went underwater. They came back up and Jackson yelled for help. Eric Sanchez, who heard the crash behind him and went to the scene was already in the water to lend a hand. "I didn't care about this at that moment, I jumped in the water, I didn't think about it." Sanchez, who uses a cane to get around, said that didn't stop him.
Burris and her family were at the event to thank Jackson and Sanchez in person. "I was thinking I was about to lose my life, a mother and a wife, and a grandmother. I had to pray and God sent these angels to my rescue and I just can't thank them enough," Burris gushed. Levan Burris, Shirley's husband, also thanked both men at the recognition ceremony.
Rutherford gave Jackson and Sanchez a certificate of appreciation and said, "our citizens are just lucky to have citizens like you around."
The first officer who arrived told Rutherford it could have had a horrific outcome without their quick and courageous response. "It is not every day that people will risk their lives going inside that water, and have no idea what they are getting into, but they pulled it off, and I am grateful for them doing it," Rutherford added.
First Coast News