One driver was injured when his pickup landed in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon along Interstate 5 in Carlsbad Wednesday.
A white pickup truck was speeding and weaving through traffic on the northbound I-5 after 7 p.m. when the driver crashed into a Honda Civic, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The driver of the truck lost control, flipped over, went down an embankment and landed upright into the lagoon.
He suffered major head trauma and was taken to the hospital. The driver of the Honda Civic suffered moderate injuries and she will be okay.
Several Good Samaritans came together to help the driver in the lagoon, including a person in a boat who stopped to help the man, CHP officials said.
Another Good Samaritan, Christy Knisely, was driving on I-5 when she witnessed the crash. She pulled over, ran down the embankment and dove into the lagoon to try and help the driver of the truck.
She spoke to NBC 7 Thursday about the frightening ordeal, and how she felt compelled to help a stranger.
"It's human life and there's nothing more important in my opinion," said Knisely.
Josh Cantor, owner of the nearby business, California Water Sports, and employee Zane Penix heard the loud, violent crash. They too rushed to the lagoon to help.
“All of a sudden, we heard this loud crashing noise,” said Penix.
“I was actually up on my balcony, ironically reading the Bible about when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead,” Cantor told NBC 7.
“Then we saw my boss run down from his house,” Penix recalled. “He’s like, ‘Hurry! Get on jet skis, get on jet skis! We gotta go.’”
The Good Samaritans hopped onto jet skis and into the lagoon, joined by others on the freeway who ran down the embankment to help.
“He was pinned, in the car. [We] tried to pull him out of the water so he would not drown at this point. [He was] submerged for three minutes,” said Cantor.
Eventually, the group was able to rescue the driver from the submerged truck. One person held the man’s head above water while others gave him CPR and put pressure on a serious head wound he had suffered in the impact of the crash.
In their boat, Good Samaritans helped transport paramedics and lifeguards to the victim.
No one hesitated and they worked together, witnesses said.
The witnesses said it felt good to see people coming together to help a stranger.
CHP officials said the driver, a 28-year-old man from Oceanside, was airlifted to Scripps La Jolla with life-threatening injuries. Officials suspect he may have been drinking and driving but the investigation is ongoing. His name was not released.