Publix Truck Driver Saved Crash Victim in Miramar Canal

Rod Retana said he just did what anyone else would do

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    A Publix employee is being hailed as a hero after he rescued a woman who crashed her car and wound up in a Miramar canal. NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez reports. (Published Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013)

    A Publix employee is being hailed as a hero after he rescued a woman who crashed her car and wound up in a Miramar canal.

    But Rod Retana, a delivery truck driver, said he just did what anyone else would do when he saved the 22-year-old Miramar woman.

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    Just as Retana started his 4 a.m. shift to make his deliveries, his day took an unexpected turn.

    “I made a right on [Palm Avenue] and noticed a car up against the guardrail, so I decided to stop and call it in to the police,” he said.

    The dispatcher asked him to give her a location of where the vehicle crashed, and as Retana was looking for a street sign, he heard a woman yelling inside the canal.

    “I saw her swimming, she looked at me and started treading water and went under and then popped back up and said that she can't swim. [She said] help me,” he recalled.

    Retana did not hesitate to help the stranger.

    “I said I’m going in, I took my Bluetooth out, my glasses, my wallet and my phone, and jumped in after her,” he said.

    The Publix employee pulled the woman out of the water onto the embankment until police arrived.

    “She kept saying you saved me, you saved me,” Retana said. “I told her you’re safe now.”

    After being questioned by police, Retana got back in his truck, turned on the engine, and drove to his next delivery in his wet clothes.

    “I took my socks off and kept working, I figured eventually I'll dry,” he said.

    Retana’s wife called him a hero when he told her the story, but Retana says he just did the right thing.

    “I don’t consider myself a hero, I just consider myself fortunate to have the ability to help her,” he said.

    The victim did not want to speak on camera, but said in a phone interview that she thanks Retana and that she’s doing okay.

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