North Port Publix truck driver pulls man from sinking car

CREATED Jan. 22, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan. 23, 2014

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NORTH PORT, Fla. - A Publix truck driver and another good samaritan are credited with saving the life of a man who lost control of his car and drove into a retention pond near the North Port Publix on Tamiami Trail. 

Luigi Giannattasio said he was parking his truck when he heard a man screaming for help and saw the car in the pond. 

"It was really a moment to act, not think," Giannattasio said. 

Giannattasio, a former lifeguard, jumped into the pond and swam to the man, grabbed him, and pulled him from the sinking car.  

"He was very brave... he just followed my direction," he said.

Another good samaritan jumped in to help Giannattasio pull the man.  Giannattasio said it was only a matter of minutes before the car was completely submerged in water.  

The victim's mom, Wanda Burns, calls it a miracle. 

"Words really cannot express how awesome that is for strangers to jump in cold water like that to save someone, it was a blessing," she said. 

Her 43-year-old son is recovering in the hospital but is expecting to be released soon.  She said it's uncertain whether it was a heart attack or sleep apnea that caused her son to lose control of his vehicle. 

Burns said the first thing they want to do when her son is released it personally thank the men who saved him.  

Giannattasio said he's not a hero, he just was is in the right place at the right time, and knew to do the right thing. 

"I don't feel like a hero... it's just, if you have the chance to help somebody, just do it," Giannattasio said.