Heroes hailed for rescuing man from overturned car in Contra Costa Co. creek

Two men are being hailed as heroes for rescuing a man from an overturned car that landed in a creek in Contra Costa County.

The accident happened Tuesday around 2:45 p.m. on Highland Road, according to CHP Dublin Officer Derek Reed. Reed said the driver lost control of a Toyota Corolla on a slick curve and drove off the road into a creek.

Dan Rich and Clayton Wiedemann were nearby and heard the crash.

“I saw him go over the bank,” Wiedemann said. “As soon as I heard the tires I looked over and just saw a car dipped down out of sight.”

Both men rushed to the water to help the driver. Wiedemann jumped in without hesitation. He said he used Rich’s pickaxe, but the backdoor wouldn’t budge.

“It was eerie,” Rich said. “I could hear him hitting his hand against the window because he was underwater. I thought, ‘Oh God.’ I told Clayton, ‘Let’s just rupture this window.’ So I got the pickaxe and I drove it though.”

Rich shattered the back window and the men pulled a 20-year-old man from Danville to safety. Both men said they are grateful the driver made it out alive.

Officer Reed said the crash is under investigation, but speed may have played a factor. He called Rich and Wiedemann Good Samaritans.

“They’re heroes,” Reed said. “They saved someone’s life. There could have been a very different outcome if they weren’t so close. Yesterday the water was moving a lot faster and it was cold. They just jumped right in and saved someone.”

Although Rich and Wiedemann do not consider themselves heroes, the CHP Dublin Office is considering awarding the two men with a CHP commendation in the future.