NORTH LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two young teens were hailed as heroes after they bravely rescued a driver whose vehicle plunged into a canal in Broward County.

Just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, Broward Sheriff’s Officer deputies and North Lauderdale Fire Rescue units were dispatched to a traffic crash at 7135 W McNab Road.

The incident occurred when a driver lost control of his Toyota truck, which ended up submerged in the canal on McNab Road.

Tony Cooper and his friend Elijah Hodge, who were nearby at a restaurant, immediately sprang into action.

“We rushed and took off our shoes and stuff,” said Cooper with his friend standing beside him. “We literally jumped on the hood and then we took off the seat belt and then we pulled them out. I started screaming at him because he was heavy while he was in the car. We screaming, he woke up, we helped him get out of the car and after that, he was on the hood and then we pulled him onto the grass.”

According to the 13-year-olds, they saw the vehicle and the man go into the water, ran across the parking lot from a nearby Dollar Tree, and jumped in to assist. They removed his seatbelt and pulled him into safety.

Cellphone video showed divers entering the water in an attempt to pull out the pickup truck from the canal.

The driver was taken to the hospital and he was reportedly conscious when he was transported. He is currently in stable condition.

Dorothy Borgelin, a witness, said she heard a loud noise when the crash occurred.

“Sure enough, I saw there was a car–a pickup truck–that was going under the water,” she recalled. “Then there were two kids, they were on the other side, and then they just jumped into the water. One of them went on top of the hood and the other one was in the water, trying to pull the men out. They did an amazing job to save the man’s life.”

Just feet away from where they helped save the man’s life, a ring and sign with 17-year-old Adin Perry.

Back in 2022, Adin jumped into a lake when a car crashed into it near his Sunrise home. He hit his head on a rock and died trying to save a life.

Adin’s mom Sarah Perry called the teens heroes.

“I couldn’t believe it because it brings back that night you know,” said Sarah. “I could relive that night every day. But they are extremely brave to do what they did and I’m so proud of them. I don’t think they realized the risks that were involved. And just like my son, they didn’t think. They saw somebody that needed help, they jumped in, that’s what a true hero does.”

Since her son’s death, Sarah’s life mission is to place more than 300 rings next to bodies of water. Along with a message, “Throw, don’t go.” Encouraging heroes like Cooper and Hodge to attempt throwing these rings into the water before jumping in themselves.

So, when she saw their story she took it upon herself to teach them a valuable lesson that could end up not just saving someone’s life in the event of an emergency, but their own, as well.

“It scares me to think of what could have happened to you,” she told the teens.

A 7News viewer Nancy was so compelled by the story, that she showed up and offered each of the boys $250 checks.

“I just want to say thank you from my heart,” she told the teens. “Im just so proud of you boys.”

“Thank you,” said Cooper and Hodge.

The two heroes didn’t think twice trying to save a life.

“I feel great,” said Cooper.

“I feel happy,” said Hodge.

The Mayor of North Lauderdale Samson Borgelin released a statement recognizing the 13-year-olds bravery.

“I am incredibly proud of these young citizens and their heroic efforts. I will be reaching out to them and their families to formally recognize their bravery.”

Mayor of North Lauderdale Samson Borgelin

Authorities have yet to determine how the car ended up in the canal.

City officials told 7News that they plan on recognizing the two teens at an upcoming commission meeting in June.

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