Joshua Garcia demonstrated grace under pressure rarely seen in 8-year-old children.
The car smashes through a guardrail, soars through the air and lands upside down on a sandbank in the Nashua River.
A Massachusetts boy unbuckles his seatbelt, swims to shore, scales an embankment and a fence, walks nearly a mile barefoot and wakes up his stepmom, who dials 911. His wounded father is still trapped inside the car.
“It’s pretty remarkable for an 8-year-old to do that,” Fitchburg Police Capt. Paul Bozicas told the Daily News.
Eugenio “Tito” Garcia will face criminal charges for the circumstances leading up to the crash, police say.
Now the boy, Joshua Garcia, is being called a hero. Thanks to his actions, responding firefighters safely pulled his father, Eugenio “Tito” Garcia, to dry land. But now the dad is in hot water.
Authorities suspect that drinking and speeding caused the crash about 3 a.m. on July 4.
“Both of them had minor injuries. Very, very lucky individuals,” said Capt. Paul Bozicas. The car was not so lucky.
“He will face numerous motor vehicle charges pertaining to endangering a child,” said Bozicas. “But no charges have been filed yet being as it’s still under investigation.”
A state agency took temporary custody of the child after her and his father were treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries, the family said.
Joshua’s aunt Priscila Columna was very proud of the boy’s presence of mind and courage.
State workers visited the family Thursday. They wanted to know if he was intoxicated and why he was on the road so early, family members explained.
“We have a reason to believe he was operating under the influence. That’s probably the most serious charge,” Bozicas said.
The car speeded off the road and landed upside down in the Nashua River.
But no allegations against the father can take away from the magnitude of the child’s actions that night.
“I’m really proud of him. He was brave,” the boy’s aunt told CBS Boston.
Read more: NY Daily News