Michael Albert Rodriguez

Michael Albert Rodriguez helped to save Matthew S. Harris from drowning, Howell, Michigan, July 21, 2017.

Harris, 45, was driving on a highway when he suffered a medical problem and lost control of his car, left the highway and entered a 9-foot-deep retention pond.

Witnessing the accident, Rodriguez, 54, carpenter of Howell, stopped his vehicle, exited and ran to the pond. Seeing Harris unresponsive and still inside the vehicle that was floating in the water, Rodriguez, a poor swimmer, removed his boots and socks and dog-paddled to the car.

As bystanders worked to pull and maneuver the car toward shore, Rodriguez opened the driver’s door and used a pocket knife to cut the seat belt and free Harris as the car sank, during which he was submerged.

Rodriguez grasped Harris from behind, removed him from the submerged car, and swam him toward shallow water near shore where bystanders were able to assist them from the water.

Harris was not injured. Rodriguez was nearly exhausted and aggravated a previous shoulder injury but recovered.


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