Columbus residents, deputy rescue man after accident

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Several people worked together to save a Columbus man's life Tuesday night after an accident that left him trapped inside a car.

We with one of those people, a sheriff's deputy who happened to be off-duty at the time of the single-car accident.

After the accident, Ralph Valdespino did not have any broken bones or internal injuries but he is still in critical condition. Doctors don't know how long he was underwater until someone came to help.

Richard Valdespino returned to the scene where his brother almost lost his life. He picked up the items that were scattered around, after his brother's car flipped and went into this creek on Whitesville Road near the Maplebrook subdivision.

 He didn't want to go on camera but says he is thankful to those who stopped to help his brother Ralph.

"I really hope that he pulls through this," said David Lang.

Lang was off-duty traveling north on Whitesville Road when he noticed something wasn't right. He saw several people who told him someone was inside the vehicle right off the road.

"I tried to find something to break the window. A lady gave me a hammer and struck the back passenger window, knocking it our and noticed it was male victim inside with his head and shoulders submerged in the water," said Lang.

He and others worked quickly to pulled him out.

"I grabbed him by the shirt and arms and managed to get his head above water, the other bystanders assisted me in pulling him the rest of the way out and pulling him to the embankment," said Lang.

Lang said soldiers at the scene gave him CPR, while other residents called 911.

"It was great to see so many people assist for someone they didn't even know," said Lang.

Lang said he did not second-guess stopping when he pulled up on the scene.

Richard Valdespino says he and his brother had just finished dinner when Ralph left to pick up some light bulbs from the store. He was gone about an hour when the accident happened just down the road from his home.

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