SW Miami-Dade

Mechanic Dies, Mother Hospitalized After Van Goes Into Pond

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Good Samaritan is speaking out after a mechanic died and his mother was hospitalized when a van plunged into a body of water off the Florida Turnpike last week.

Raul Godoy is still concerned about the elderly woman he pulled out of the pond Friday morning. Friends identified her as 80-year-old Nieves Matos.

Matos survived but her son, Mario Laza, died after authorities say he lost control of the van he was driving and ended up in a pond off the Turnpike near SW 8th Street.

Police have not said how many people were in the car that went into the water Friday morning.

Godoy told NBC 6 he was driving past the Turnpike exit when he saw commotion near the water. He took off his clothes and jumped into action.

“I put my hand by the glass and broke off a small piece of the window. Then a person gave me a tool and with that tool, I was able to shatter the entire glass,” said Godoy.

The Good Samaritan says when he grabbed the woman's hand, he was a bit fearful.

“It reminded me of when I pulled someone out of the ocean in Cuba. It was scary,” said Godoy.

An officer then helped Godoy pull the woman out of the pond.

Godoy told NBC 6 he wishes he could’ve saved the man’s life too. He’s sad to know he passed away.

“Someone was in danger. If it would have been a family member I would have done it, so with any other person, why not?” said Godoy.

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