Some West Warwick, Rhode Island, residents jumped into the Pawtuxet River Wednesday afternoon to rescue a couple in a submerged pickup.
The incident happened behind the Phenix Sportsman Club on Maine Street where a silent auction was taking place.
“One of the members at the auction saw the vehicle as it was going into the water and he actually jumped into the water and assisted the couple,” said Det. Sgt. Scott Amaral.
The elderly couple from Warwick was in about 4-to-5 feet of water he said.
“Some of the citizens jumped in the water and got her to shore and there was an elderly man still in the vehicle trying to get out, Amaral told NBC 10.
West Warwick firefighters quickly arrived and a couple of firemen jumped in the water and got him out of the truck.
The couple, a man was in his 80's and a woman in her 70's were rushed to the hospital and treated for exposure. Officials said they are expected to be OK.
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Investigators believe they were pulling in to the parking lot of the Phenix Club for the auction.
“Instead of hitting the brake, he hit the gas and went reverse and went into the water,” said Amaral.
If it wasn't for that club member, no one may have seen the accident or jumped in to rescue them.
“Seconds matter, especially when it's getting cold out. The water is cold and hypothermia can set in pretty quickly. For a private citizen to jump in was very exceptional. He should be commended for what he did, said Amaral.