Screenshot of video showing heroic rescue of two passengers of a vehicle that plunged into the ocean at the St. Thomas waterfront. The video was posted on March 12, 2023.
A video posted by Facebook user Everton Powell shows the chilling moment the car leaves the roadway and goes headlong into the water. Another vehicle immediately pulls over and two people run across the street and disrobe on the roadside. One jumps in after the vehicle, swimming to the white sedan that was now drifting out, carried away perhaps by its momentum or by currents in the water.
The good Samaritan, identified by Mr. Powell as Dillon Hodge, opened the door of the sinking car and clambered inside. Soon the hatch of the trunk can be seen popping open as the second bystander — identified as Agyei Gregory, an engineer at Schneider Regional Medical Center and son of Sen. Donna Frett-Gregory — jumps into the water. Ms. Frett-Gregory said this account was given to her by her son. Sixteen nerve-wracking seconds elapse until people are spotted exiting the rapidly sinking vehicle, and they can be seen making their way to dry land as the white sedan, headlights still on, submerges into the depths below.
Additional bystanders get into the water to assist in the rescue. The three and a half minute video ends with the parties making their way on to dry land.
At time of publication, the video had received over 64,000 views and over 700 shares. Dillon’s mother, Marris ensured that the other young man who aided the passengers in the vehicle were duly recognized for their bravery as well - Dillon’s friend Kalan Bernier. Other commenters heaping praise and commendation on the quick-thinking rescuers, with some calling for medals to be awarded to the young heroes, as well as a cash prize for their efforts.
Consortium journalists have reached out to the Hodge family for further information on Dillion and Kalan’s heroic exploits.