Man saves driver from retention pond crash in Breakaway Trails

Eric Cooke saved the life of a man who blacked out and drove his car into a pond.
By: 
Jul. 31, 2016

Eric Cooke's normal route to work through Breakaway Trails was anything but July 29 when he saved the life of a man who drove his car into a retention pond. 

Ormond Beach Police Department Public Information Officer Keith Walker confirmed that a man blacked out and drove his car into the retention pond. Cooke was driving by with his co-worker, Greg Smith, witnessed the incident, and jumped out to help. 

Cooke, a Palm Coast resident, dove into the water and pulled the man out of the car through the car window before it fully submerged into the pond. As he tried to swim back with the man, Cooke said he felt himself sinking and Smith got into the pond and helped pull him and the man to safety. 

"I just ran over there," Cooke said. "I didn't even think about it." 

His wife, Abbey Cooke, said she was shocked when her husband told her what happened, and that she was proud to be married to a real life hero. 

"He was like 'I just saved this guy's life,' and I said 'You're supposed to be installing cabinets what are you talking about,'" she said. "He keeps saying that you always wonder what you would do, and now he knows." 

The man Cooke rescued from the car was uninjured.