Citizen rescuer recounts saving man who crashed car into Washington Channel

The man who crashed into the Washington Channel overnight Friday was able to escape his sinking car, but was struggling to stay afloat.

Fortunately, a few vigilant citizens nearby heard what “sounded like a bomb” and ventured out onto the water to save him.



“He went under one time,” Lavert Phillips, the owner of boat rental company Float DC, told WTOP.

That’s when Phillips and the other people on his boat knew they had to kick their rescue effort into high gear.

“The guy’s a big guy,” Phillips said. “We’re not small guys, but it was hard for us to get him out, so he wasn’t going to make it.”

Remarkably, once the man caught his breath, he didn’t require any further medical attention.

Although, how the man wound up crashing into the water remains a mystery, even to Phillips.

“We didn’t really try to get into it what he was going through,” Phillips said.

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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