Off-duty officer rescues 2 from overturned car

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Police say an off-duty Cocoa police officer rescued two teenagers from a car that was overturned in water early Wednesday morning.

Investigators say the car hit a fire hydrant, then became airborne, before landing upside down in a ditch. Matthew Ingram says he had about six inches of air inside the car, and he couldn't escape.

“I was screaming for help and banging on the windows,” Ingram said. “I could hear somebody coming up and asking if we were alright.”

The person outside the car was Cocoa Police Cpl. Kenneth Brackin. He had just gotten home from his shift when he heard the crash along Knox McRae Drive in Titusville.

“I went to the back door first to try to open that. That one wouldn’t budge. The ones on the side closest to me, the driver side, since it was upside down, I tried to pull those doors… those wouldn’t budge,” Brackin said.

He says as he continued trying to free the two occupants, the water got up to his chest. Finally, one door opened.

“All I could see was just his face, sitting on top in the air, trying to breathe. So I helped him get out of the front and asked if anyone else was in there… we also pulled his friend out,” Brackin explained.

Tommy Flack says he doesn’t remember anything from the accident.

“I didn’t know what was going on. I had a bunch of cops asking if I wanted medical attention,” Flack said.

He later learned that Brackin is the one who rescued him. The off-duty cop is being called a hero.

“I really didn’t think about it too much. I knew somebody was in there, and I was like, ‘If I don’t get in there now, these people could die,’” Brackin said.

The teens and their families are grateful. “If the man didn’t respond and act like he did, we would be making funeral arrangements right now,” Tommy Flack’s father, Tom, said. “I want to shake the man’s hand. I’m proud of him. We need more officers like him.”

Titusville Police say the cause of the accident is still under investigation.