A Warren County man who drove his car into Lake Luzerne is lucky to be alive after a pair of young men pulled him from the lake's chilly waters Sunday night. YNN's Matt Hunter has more on the daring rescue.
LAKE LUZERNE, N.Y. – "I was just sort of in a little panic,” 17-year-old Charles Allen Jr. said. “I just wanted the guy to get out of the vehicle, of course."
Allen Jr. and his sister were leaving Hadley-Luzerne High School to grab a bite Sunday night when they noticed something strange across the street in Lake Luzerne.
"We saw these tail lights in the lake, halfway through the lake,” Allen said. “My sister stopped and said we should go ask and see if they're alright."
Allen jumped out the car. After talking to another man who had already pulled over, he learned a 70-year-old man was still inside the Dodge pickup truck, more than 50 feet off the shore of Wayside Beach.
"I tippy- toed all the way out, I couldn't touch anymore,” Allen said. “I was able to get on his tailgate and the guy from EMS was already there with me to help get him out."
Inside the cab, which was quickly filling with water, the men found Neil Johns, who Warren County Sheriff's deputies believe suffered a medical emergency before driving off the road.
"He was definitely conscious, but I don't think he really knew what was going on," Allen said. "He just kept saying he was cold and there was water in his truck and he had to get it out."
Allen and the other men safely pulled Johns from the vehicle and walked him back to shore before paramedics took him to Glens Falls Hospital where he was found to have no injuries, but kept overnight for further evaluation.
"I'm sure he probably would have drowned,” said Charles Allen Sr., Allen’s father. “Nobody really knows without it really happening, but I'm sure my son was a big part of saving his life."
A few hours later, life was back to normal when Allen returned to school Monday morning. While the high school senior is quick to brush it off, others know he put his own life on the line to save another.
"When I got him up this morning for school, I told him I'm pretty proud of him, how he was brave,” Allen Sr. said. “I shook his hand. It took a lot of courage."
"I don't picture myself as a hero,” Allen said. “I just picture myself as helping a man out that needed help."