Saturday: Girl Who Saved Family Speaks
When the SUV her aunt was driving plunged into the Black River Friday night, Lacie Thomas thought she was going to die.
"As soon as we seen the water we thought our lives were over."
But once the Mercury Mountaineer hit the water, Lacie sprang into action. She quickly unbuckled her two-year-old cousin Zachary's seat belt and swam to shore.
Lacie's aunt, Christan Cooper, who was driving, grabbed Zachary and tried to swim to safety on the river bank too, but the currents became too strong.
And Lacie stepped in again. "My aunt she was trying to swim with them, my baby cousin and then when they were swimming she had a doggy paddle with one arm and she was about to go down because the current was pulling her down and then I grabbed her and pulled her up," said Lacie.
Christan Cooper, couldn't be more grateful when she spoke to 7 News' Candace Dunkley Saturday.
"Grateful, grateful that my son's running around like nothing even happened," said Cooper.
Lacey wasn't the only hero that night. One of the passengers, 15 year old Anthony Jackson, says a man he'd never met before saved his life.
"Then I couldn't pull myself out, but a guy grabbed my hand just in time and pulled me out. If it wasn't for him I probably would have never gotten out," said Jackson.
The person that saved Jackson may be a mystery, but to these survivors, one thing is clear, Lacie Cooper is a hero and for that they are grateful.
According to the police accident report, Cooper says she fell asleep at the wheel and woke up when the vehicle hit the curb. She told police she tried to hit the brake, but hit the accelerator instead.
Friday, March 7, 2014, Watertown, NY