Car into Huntington Harbor, 1 dead, 1 rescued

Long Island news from Eyewitness News

May 20, 2013 1:25:24 PM PDT
One man has died and another survived after a daring rescue on Long Island.

A car flipped over and landed in Huntington Harbor and what happened next was nothing short of heroic.

Imagine seeing the horrifying accident in your rearview mirror.

Joseph LaManna saw the car moments before it went fishtailing around a sharp curve and flying over the guardrail.

LaManna and his older brother had just left an engagement party Saturday evening and immediately pulled over along West Shore Road.

They sprinted into the chest high water to help.

"We started to punch the window but it wasn't working. So we ran over and picked up some asphalt rocks and they just started shattering in our hands," said Joseph LaManna, a Good Samaritan.

Eventually it worked.

"I smashed the window in and I was able to feel in the seat and no one was there. I was able to reach my hand up and unlock the door," LaManna said.

As the broken glass tore through his hand, other Good Samaritans jumped into help.

But it was too late for the driver 29-year-old Edward Franz from Huntington Station.

He apparently got stuck in the back of the sunken Suburban.

The passenger, 20-year-old Liam O'Mara of Huntington, was able to get out.

He didn't want to speak on camera but wrote to Eyewitness News saying he's thankful to all the first responders and, "I would also like to thank the individuals who heroically jumped into the water and sacrificed their well being to help out. I ask that you direct your prayers to the Franz family as they must be going through a very difficult time."

"Someone lost their son it's a horrible thing," a resident said.

Police say Franz was speeding and that the road was wet at the time.

And in a tragic twist, LaManna said he later learned that both O'Mara and Franz had been at the same engagement party.

LaManna had to get 15 stitches in his hand.