A New Jersey man was dubbed a hero after rescuing a 50-year-old woman whose SUV plunged into the Passaic River, according to ABC 7 NY. On the morning of June 14, 30-year-old Jay Moss was walking out of the King’s Court gym when he suddenly heard a man run pass him saying, “There’s a car in the river.”
Although Moss was supposed to report to his job at a Software Company in Clifton, where he worked as a sales manager, he threw his gym bag in his vehicle and without hesitation, he ran towards the Passaic River.
— Bergen County News (@BergenCtyNews) June 15, 2016
When he learned that the other guy, who warned him about the sinking SUV, couldn’t swim, the Good Samaritan took his clothes off, leaving only his gym shorts, and swam his way to the partly submerged black SUV.
The window was reportedly cracked open and the woman was unconscious, floating in the driver’s seat. The water was rising and Moss stated that he had to do something when he realized how fast the SUV was sinking in the Passaic River.
— Darla Miles (@DarlaMiles7) June 14, 2016
Emergency services hadn’t made their way to the scene yet to help; therefore, Moss reached his hand inside of the cracked window to unlock the door and tried pulling the handle, but it wouldn’t open, according to the North Jersey. Therefore, he used his foot to support him as he pulled the door as hard as he could until it opened.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Moss stated. “I was operating on nothing but adrenaline, and it’s all a blur.”
When he finally got the car door to open, he told reporters that he “grabbed her and pulled her out and started swimming to the shore until I could walk, and then I carried her. By the time I got to the shore, there was a cop there, so everything was alright.”
When emergency services arrived at the scene, the woman – whose name has not been released – was taken to a local hospital. That’s when Moss quickly drove off and headed to work. He said, “I called my boss and said I was going to be a little late to work.”
However, when he made it to work, his boss and colleagues had already uncovered what Moss had done and he was greeted with an applause by the staff.
“It’s not about being a hero or anything like that,” he told a reported. “I’m just glad she was okay and I was okay — but I did scrape my legs up pretty bad on the rocks.”
The Good Samaritan’s quick-thinking saved the woman’s life. If Moss hadn’t jumped into the water to rescue the driver from her sinking SUV, she would have definitely drown because “that car fills up quickly.”
“That couple of minutes of help before the car went under was heroic,” said Police Chief Tom Strumolo. “It definitely saved her life and I thank God he was there.”
“Officers were there quickly, but again, in that kind of condition, a minute or two means a lot, whether you can get out of the vehicle in time or not.”
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) June 15, 2016
Moss stated that he never thought of himself as a hero and “you never know what’s coming or how you will react. You just have to do the right thing. Even if you think you’re prepared, you’re not. I don’t know if I was stupid or brave, but I knew I had to do it.”
“You just have to pick your head up out of your cell phone and do something good for someone. It doesn’t have to be big. Open a door. Pay it forward, is all.”
There is no word on the woman’s condition or how her SUV plunged into the Passaic River, but an investigation is underway.
[Image via Getty Images / China Foto Press]