BRANDON, FLA. - William Pearson's mother calls the people who saved her son heroes.
He was driving on I-75 near the Brandon exit when a truck cut him off.
His car flipped over, crashed into a pond, and started sinking.
An unlikely hero went into the water to save the 17-year-old's life.
“By all rights, I shouldn't have been there,” said Jeremy Summers. “But for whatever reason, whatever you want to say it was, somebody put me in that place at that time. And I feel blessed to have been able to lend a hand.”
Summers drove right past the crash that nearly killed Pearson.
“I passed by and I don't know why or what, but something just said I needed to stop,” he said.
Summers walked back, went down the embankment, and jumped into the water to save the young man.
“I didn't think anybody was there,” said Pearson.
He was under water, in the dark, out of air. He was battling against time, and the odds, to get to a small air pocket near the back seat.
“I just prayed that I would be able to see my family again. And out of nowhere I got a couple breaths of air,” Pearson said.
That was when Summers and several other rescuers were able to lift the car.
“As soon as I opened the back door, I heard somebody scream,” he said.
Pearson says he closed his eyes, “and I just felt hands on me and they grabbed me out.”
It was a lifesaving rescue that brought a father to tears.
“I said thank you, I told him I was going to try to keep my composure and I couldn't. I broke down on the phone,” William’s dad Jason said.
“I'm glad, I'm thankful, I am amazed that (Summers) listened to that little voice inside of him that told him, OK ,maybe you might want to check. And because of that, my son is here.”
“The guys that dragged me out of that car, just couldn't be more thankful, you know?” William Pearson told 10News from his hospital bed.
Summers is a hero to William and his family, and a humble man.
“I would hope that what I did is the same thing anybody else would do,” Summers said. “As long as you're physically able, lend a hand. You can't be afraid to try and help.”
There were several other people who jumped in to save William's life, and the Pearson family wants to know who they are.
The teen wants to say his thanks to them in person.
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.
© 2018 WTSP-TV