‘Thank God they’re not dead,’ says Plantation resident who pulled man, daughter from van in canal

A morning commute for a Plantation man turned into a heroic rescue when he pulled a driver and young girl from a van that had plunged into a roadside canal.

The Plantation Fire Department is crediting Jephtah Thomas, 58, for jumping into the canal and rescuing the two after their car careened off Sunrise Boulevard near Northwest 46th Avenue about 7:15 a.m. Friday.

Thomas said he was heading to his job at the Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton, where he repairs fitness equipment. He didn’t see the car drive off the road, but heard the splash — and it was enough to make him stop and look.

“You could hear the crack,” he said. “When I looked I saw the vehicle sinking. I had to stop. I called 911 right away.”