Sarasota officers talk about rescue on the Sarasota Bay in December

Sarasota Bay Rescue

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - There were some tense moments as eyewitnesses saw a car bolt into Sarasota Bay three weeks ago. The passenger was able to get out however the driver was trapped.

Transcripts of the 911 call reveal the panic of bystanders.

911 operator: Are there any people in the water?”

Caller: *muffled* “You know you got my….

911 operator: Ma’am.

Caller: They’re trying to get him out of there. He’s about to die here.

Sarasota Officer Jared Lawhead was the first on scene that night and Officer David Roberts arrived shortly after.

“There was somebody trapped inside the car and he was drowning,” Sarasota Officer David Roberts explained to ABC7′s Daniela Hurtado.

Nerves were rising because in these types of situations time is of the essence.

“At that point it was just a race to get in the water,” said Sarasota Officer Jared Lawhead.

The car was upside down near the retaining wall. Then more back up arrived as the officers jumped in the water to render aid to the drowning driver.

“A couple of us attempted to break the windows to try to enter the vehicle eventually. Officer Roberts was able to get the drivers side door open,” said Lawhead.

“He was still seat belted in, I believe,” said Roberts.

Officers say the man was unconscious as they attempted to get him out of the car, which had taken in significant water.

“I handed my pocket knife over. Officer Roberts cut the seat belt,” said Lawhead.

Then the officers carried the driver up the embankment to waiting fire rescue.

Officer Roberts and Officer Lawhead were just two pieces of the puzzle that helped play a role in saving Gabe Davey that night on December 29.

“It’s exactly why I became a police officer in the first place,” said Lawhead.

Days after the crash our sister station in Indiana where Davey is from spoke to his parents through Facetime after they flew out to be with their son in Sarasota.

“There’s nothing short, from the medical staff to everybody we’ve talked with, there were medical professionals that, they all say this is a Christmas miracle,” said Christian Davey, Gabe’s father.

A miracle and quick thinking by first responders…

“Makes us feel great that we’re able to do our job in a way that helped to save somebody’s life,” said Roberts

The case is still under investigation by the police department. On the night of the crash representatives with the police department told ABC7 speed played a role in the accident.

Copyright 2021 WWSB. All rights reserved.