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Fresno man helps save 2 who drove into canal

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POSTED July 15, 2013 12:54 a.m.

FRESNO  (AP) — A Fresno man is being praised for pulling over and helping to save two people who almost drowned when their car accidentally went into a canal.

Richard Llewellyn, 53, was driving in central Fresno around 4 a.m. Saturday when he saw a woman yelling by the side of the road.

Lewellyn pulled over and saw her husband trying to rescue another woman from a car that was underwater in the canal near Olive and Blackstone avenues.

“She was frozen and I was dragging her up that slick concrete,” Llewellyn said. “I said, ‘We’ve got to do this. It’s better than being dead.’”

Llewellyn, who collects wooden shipping pallets for extra cash, grabbed a rope from his truck and used it to pull the woman out of the canal, according to the newspaper. He then ran downstream to find a man clinging to the canal’s concrete wall. Police soon arrived and helped carry the man out of the water.

Fresno Fire Department spokesman Tony Escobedo said the man and woman who first spotted the car in the canal were also key to the rescue.

“We would have seen at least two deaths today because that particular part of the canal system is treacherous. It’s swift and has a lot of bends,” Escobedo said.

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