'Huge splash of water’: Dashcam video shows SUV plunge into Little Pee Dee River

Published: Feb. 17, 2020 at 11:25 PM EST
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GALIVANTS FERRY, S.C. (WMBF) – One of the Good Samaritans that helped to save five people from an SUV after it went off a bridge and into the Little Pee Dee River talked with WMBF News about the scary situation.

Emergency crews were called on Sunday to Highway 501, near the Horry-Marion County line, for a sinking vehicle call. Five people were rescued from the SUV and taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Thomas Fee said he was on Highway 501 and driving back into Horry County when he noticed a vehicle was fishtailing because of the wet roads.

Fee said before he knew it, he saw a massive splash after the SUV went into the water. All of it was captured on Fee’s dashcam video.

Thomas Fee pulled off the road when he saw a vehicle go into the Little Pee Dee River on Sunday (Source: Thomas Fee)

“It jumped,” Fee said of the vehicle. "I saw its brake lights. And then it just disappeared in a huge splash of water.”

He pulled over on the side of the road, and two other Good Samaritans were helping the five people out of the SUV.

Fee says the water was extremely cold. But that didn’t stop him from jumping in.

“By the time I got there, I didn’t think anybody was going to live," he said.

Fee said there was a man, woman and three kids, including a six-month-old baby, and a puppy, all inside of the vehicle. He said the people inside the car were shaken up.

“The father was very frantic, of course, I can understand that," Fee said. "He was just really trying to get his kids over to the shore.”

Rescuers were able to get everyone out of the vehicle.

Fee’s son Lawrence says his father’s actions were nothing shy of heroic. It doesn’t come as a shock to him that he stepped up the way he did.

“He’s always wanted to help people, and he’s always wanted to be there for people when they need someone most," Lawrence Meier said.

Fee doesn’t want to soak in the limelight, though. He instead said the other two men who helped did a lot more than he did. And despite what some might say, this humble Good Samaritan said he’s far from a hero.

“No, I’m just a person," Fee said. "It’s what anybody would do.”

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