Good Samaritan describes coming to aid of teen who crashed - FOX Carolina 21

Good Samaritan talks about helping teen who crashed into Lake Bowen

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Terry Larson, right, recounts rescue experience (Feb. 24, 2014/FOX Carolina) Terry Larson, right, recounts rescue experience (Feb. 24, 2014/FOX Carolina)
The car being towed out of the water. (Courtesy: Jolley Towing Service Co.) The car being towed out of the water. (Courtesy: Jolley Towing Service Co.)

Terry Larson and his family were coming home from a family outing early Sunday morning when they witnessed a horrific crash.

"We saw a car airborne, spinning ... and rotating," said Larson, who was in the car with his wife, best friend and two children after spending an evening bowling.

It happened just off Interstate 26 in Spartanburg County at Lake Bowen. The car, driven by a teenager, plunged into the lake below - a 45-foot drop. Larson and his family were sure the driver was dead.

"I thought the dude who ran off the rail was going to die," said Zach Larson, Terry Larson's son.

Terry Larson said the guardrail the driver hit broke off and was in the middle of the road. A trucker in front of him waved him down to warn him of it. Terry Larson said he pulled over and heard the teen in the lake just talking to himself.

He knew he had to do something, so he walked down the thorny, steep embankment to where the car was completely submerged and the shaken 16-year-old was standing in the water.

"My legs were all scratched up - I was hurting," Terry Larson said.

"He was talking to me, I had him keep talking to me," he added. "He was scared, he was cold, he kept telling me his name."

Spartanburg County deputies said the teen had stolen his father's car and was drunk when he crashed. In the dark early Sunday morning, Larson helped the shocked boy to the edge of the lake and up the embankment to where help was.

"I couldn't leave him, whoever it was, down there. I had to see what I could do," Terry Larson said.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said Sunday he plans to give Terry Larson a citizen's award for stepping up and helping a total stranger. Wright said the teen is lucky to be alive and even luckier that someone saw him crash at that time of night.

"I don't think I did anything that anyone else wouldn't do," said Terry Larson. "Sometimes God works in mysterious ways. You're just at the right place at the right time."

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