‘The doors wouldn’t open;’ Rideshare driver trapped in car during flood, incredible rescue caught on camera

“I see it on the news all the time and I say ‘look at these idiots that [it] happen to.’ I was one of the idiots now,” he said.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:33 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - “This could be it. I can’t open the window and the doors wouldn’t open,” said Bernard Johnson.

Those were Bernard Johnson’s final thoughts as flood water poured inside his car on Peachtree Street in Atlanta last Thursday.

Emergency responders left with no other option, but to shatter Johnson’s car window and pull him to safety.

The 61-year-old was one of over 30 water rescues in metro Atlanta during the heavy rainfall and flooding.

“I see it on the news all the time and I say ‘look at these idiots that [it] happen to.’ I was one of the idiots now,” he said.

The ride-share driver says it all happened so quickly in the span of about 10 minutes. Johnson says a passenger jumped from his car before things took a turn for the worst.

WATCH: Firefighter, police officer rescue trapped driver on Peachtree Street during flooding

“Wipers was going a hundred miles and hour and basically, I did not see it coming,” said Johnson.

Atlanta Fire Rescue and Atlanta Police, who were both there in the nick of time, say the water was so deep Johnson’s car was lifted from the ground and the doors wouldn’t open.

“He was just worn out and he was overwhelmed. We were beginning to be overwhelmed as well because we were out there for a few minutes and you have water out there that is well over 4 and a half feet and so you have to act really quickly,” said Atlanta Fire Rescue Captain Terrance Simon, who helped pull Johnson to safety.

The two didn’t think twice about putting their own lives at risk. Officer Rayando Bryan used his baton to break the car window open while Captain Simon helped pull Johnson to safety.

Still, they shy away from the word “hero.”

“God is the only hero for me but I would like to say me and Officer Bryan are angels. Really, we’re doing God’s work,” said Captain Simon.

As for Johnson, he’s lucky to be alive and tells us hindsight really is 20/20.

“When it’s raining that hard, I should have just pulled over and said nope,” Johnson said.