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Dramatic video shows Texas couple breaking windshield to save man whose truck was being swallowed in flooded ditch

Dramatic video shows Texas couple rescuing truck driver from flooded ditch 01:22

A Houston-area couple risked their lives to save another from rushing waters earlier this week. After seeing a bright red truck nearly completely submerged in water in a flooded ditch and the driver seemingly using his boots to attempt to break free, the couple grabbed a hammer to save his life. 

Robert Chance was driving with his girlfriend, Renee Young, and Young's daughter on Tuesday when they took a wrong turn in Spring, Texas, they told CBS affiliate KHOU. That wrong move proved lucky, as it led them to the truck swept in rushing waters after a severe storm broke out in the area. 

According to the National Weather Service's Houston station, Tuesday saw a "line of strong to severe thunderstorms" across southeast Texas. By 4:30 p.m. local time, the storms brought winds surpassing 70 miles per hour and hail the size of golf balls across the region, causing some 300,000 people to lose power and downing trees. 

"Rainfall rates within the strongest of those storms were 2-3" per hour, which led to street flooding especially along feeder roads and underpasses," the NWS warned in the Tuesday afternoon update. "This water may take a bit to drain, so please do NOT drive through any flooded roadways and do NOT drive around any barricades." 

That heavy rain led to the truck accidentally ending up in a heavily flooded drainage ditch. When the couple saw the truck, the water was so high it had overtaken its bed and was starting to rise completely above the truck's front hood and driver's side window – with a man still inside.

Young told the outlet that's when Chance became "primal." 

"The first thing he said he wanted to do was check if someone was in there. He was just ready to jump over the edge. He's not thinking, he's just going," she said.

"You seen his boots – at least that's what it looked like to me – was his boots hitting the windshield," Chance told KHOU. "...When I saw him in there, I immediately went to my toolbox." 

As Young filmed from their vehicle and asked, "How do you get him out?" Chance can be seen running to grab a hammer and running back to the truck. Young then hands the recording device to her daughter as she runs out to help. 

The couple can be seen and heard seemingly yelling at passersby that there was someone stuck in the submerged vehicle as Chance starts to smash the windshield and Young yells at the driver to cover his eyes. Immediately after, Young yells at her daughter to call 9-1-1 and the video cuts out. 

Chance told KHOU on Wednesday night that he ended up breaking the rear passenger window and pulled the driver out of the truck, helping him climb out of the ditch with a ladder that another individual brought to the scene. 

"He was already starting to come out, so I grabbed him by the shirt and just made sure that he wasn't going to fall into the water," Chance said. "...I just kept a really good tight grip on him and just kept him on." 

"We were in the right place at the right time," Young said. "He did what his body said he should do and that man got to go home to his family."

Chance stayed in contact with the driver and said he was doing well. A local Fox affiliate identified the driver as Jeff Jones, who told the station that all he could think about was "my family, my wife...what I'm leaving behind in this world." Jones said the railing on a roadway had been submerged by floodwaters, leading to the accident and his car drifting to a pedestrian bridge before becoming stuck in the drainage ditch.

"I see somebody in need, especially in this dire of need, I just jump in and go straight for it," Chance said. "If it happened again today, hands down, I'd jump in and do it even if it was worse, no questions asked."

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