Grafton Good Samaritan Saves Teen from Car Sinking into River

GRAFTON (CBS) — A Grafton man saved the life of a teenager Friday night when he rescued her from a car sinking into a river.

Grafton police said they received a call just before 10 p.m. about a car crash near Wheeler Road and Worcester Street. They found a car fully submerged in the river there.

Police said their investigation indicated that the car had slid on black ice on Wheeler Road, causing the car to swerve, hit a stop sign and then crash into the river. The male driver, 17-year-old Zachery Mark, of Grafton, jumped out right before the car went into the river, but the female passenger, his girlfriend, was trapped.

“I was sitting there thinking ‘Oh my god I think I just killed somebody,’” Mark said.


The submerged car in Grafton Friday night. (Photo Courtesy: Grafton Police Department)

Mark yelled for help. Chris Etre, a driver who was passing by, saw the crash and jumped into action. He grabbed a tool from his construction work truck, ran into the freezing water and smashed the back window. He was able to pull the teenager out before the car sank completely into the water.

“That vehicle just didn’t go into the water and sit, it had drifted probably 30 or 40 feet,” said Officer Thomas Michniewicz. “The car was sinking nose first, so it was definitely taking on water as it was sinking. Timing was critical.”

Both teens were taken to a hospital but were uninjured.

“That’s my job. I’m trained for that every day. I don’t think Mr. Etre’s training for water rescues and things, but he knew exactly what to do at the right time,” Michniewicz said.

Etre told WBZ-TV that he is simply happy that both people are safe, and that they will be home for the holidays.

“There were valuables lost but it doesn’t really matter,” Mark said. “You value life over anything, really.”

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