Man hailed as hero in Hopewell Marina water rescue: ‘I’m just glad that the lady is safe’


HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — One of three men hailed as heroes after saving a woman from a car submerged in water recalled the ordeal to 8News Friday.

Jacob Zicafoose told 8News he was fishing with friends at the Hopewell Marina around 3 p.m. Thursday before the unthinkable happened.

“I look over after I hear this loud crash and the lady has gone through the fence posts and is now like nose-diving down into the water,” Zicafoose told 8News. “I was like, ‘oh my god, there’s somebody in that car,’ so I just took off running.”

Jacob Zicafoose

With the help of two other men, Zicafoose managed to pull the woman out of the vehicle through the car window while bystanders called 911.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 3 men rescue woman from car submerged in Hopewell Marina

“We just went up to the lady who was still seatbelt hooked in the car,” Zicafoose told 8News. “Just holding onto her steering wheel for dear life.”

Shortly after emergency responders arrived, the woman’s car was pulled out of the water. Hopewell Fire and EMS say the woman, who has not been identified, didn’t suffer any injuries. She was home resting hours after the traumatic incident.

“She was really calm throughout the whole thing,” Zicafoose explained. “Actually, the first thing she said was ‘I lost my shoe,’ and we told her don’t worry about the shoe, you’re alive, that’s all the matters right now. We’ll worry about everything else later.”

Recalling how the accident occurred, Zicafoose said the woman meant to put the car in reverse, and while looking over her shoulder to back up the vehicle, she didn’t realize the gear was still in drive.

“She hit the gas instead of backing up,” Zicafoose added.

A witness at the scene told 8News he’s thankful the woman made it out of the vehicle unscathed.

“Unfortunately, if something were to happen to her, I couldn’t come fishing out here and get [some] peace of mind,” a witness, who asked to be identified only as Charles, told 8News.

Following the heroic efforts of Zicafoose and the two other men who helped save the woman, Hopewell Fire and Rescue thanked the trio on Facebook. Zicafoose told 8News he’s just happy the woman is alive and well.

“I’m just glad that the lady is safe and that there was nobody harmed in this whole situation,” he said. “Thank you to the two guys that were there and all three of us, the teamwork, rescuing her was amazing.

Zicafoose doesn’t think his act of kindness warrants the label of hero. He does say, however, that he will never forget the day and what he and two other Good Samaritans were able to accomplish.

RAW VIDEO: 3 men help rescue woman trapped inside sinking car

Zicafoose adds that he gave his contact information to the police in hopes of reuniting with the woman he helped save.


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