Driver rescued after driving truck into Lake Luzerne

Posted at: 10/21/2013 9:37 AM | Updated at: 10/21/2013 6:11 PM
By: WNYT Staff

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Tire tracks show where Neil Johns' truck drove into Lake Luzerne at Wayside Beach.

Kumi Tucker / WNYT

LAKE LUZERNE - Authorities say a man in a pickup truck drove into the lake Sunday night. Rescuers say they could see the taillights underwater. One of the men who helped pull the driver to safety said that truck was sinking fast.

“I just wanted the guy to get out of the vehicle of course,” said 17-year-old Charles Allen of Lake Luzerne.

Allen was at Wayside Beach with his sister Sunday night, when they noticed taillights in the water. Allen and two other men jumped in the water to help the driver.

“I swam in the water while I tippy-toed all the way out until I couldn’t touch anymore. I was able to get on his tailgate. The guy from the EMS was already there with me to get him out…We sort of just pulled on each shoulder and just pulled him out through the window,” said Allen.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Department says the 70-year-old driver, Neil Johns from Stony Creek, suffers from medical conditions. They are believed to cause the crash.

Tire tracks go down almost to the lake, then cut right through the sand of the beach and continue into the water. Allen is humble about what he did.

“I just helped someone out. It will come back to me eventually,” he says.

“When I got him up this morning for school, I told him I was pretty proud of him, he was brave. I shook his hand. That’s a lot of courage,” said his father.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Department says the driver was not hurt, but taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Allen says the driver was complaining about the cold water, and he seemed pretty out of it.

Despite the cold water, Allen says he would do it all over again.



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