Firefighter rescue man who drove into flood waters in Forsyth County

Image 1 of 10

Forsyth County's Swift Water Rescue Team jumped into action to save a man stranded in the water. That guy chanced it and drove his truck into a flooding Nicholson Road even though the county put up signs telling drivers to stay off of Nicholson and Old Federal Road. The driver didn’t get too far.

FOX 5 News crews were out around the Etowah River when they spotted a white truck with a man inside around 1 p.m. Thursday.

“I came in and I started coming in and I'm like I should turn around and I got this far and it stalled out. If it would've stayed on running, I could've gone on and made it through,” Larry Lay said about getting stranded.

FOX 5’s Kerry Charles and photojournalist Lloyd Alford spotted Lay and called 911.

Charles: “What's going through your mind sitting out here on top of the truck?”

Lay: “That I was stupid. I tried to back up and I was going to get back out of here, but it was already this far. I'm like well. Then, when it stalled out that was it. I knew I was in trouble.

Crews from Forsyth County arrived. Sheriff’s deputies and the fire department’s Swift Water Rescue Team quickly went to work.

Charles: “What would you advise people if they try and take a chance?”

Lay: “From the road, it doesn't look that deep, but right here where I am it's pretty daggum deep.”

One rescuer waded through the water and escorted Lay to safety where Charles met him.

He has a message for other thinking about taking a risky chance.

Lay: “Everybody, don't go in the water when you can't see what you're doing.”

Charles: “That's the exact example why we're out here talking to people. Why'd you chance it? Because there are so many people who are going to be watching and saying 'I'm going to try it.'”

Lay: “You want to know the truth? Why I did it?”

Charles: “Yeah. Yeah.”

Lay: “To save myself about three miles the other way... that's why.”

In the end, deputies cited Lay.

During a live stream of the rescue on the FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page, many people commented on the video observing "the water's only waist-deep... He could've walked."

“The old adage of you don't know how deep the water is has real value here because as you look across the road, there you can see the other side of the road, but what you can't see? You can't see the lines on the road… You can't see the depth of the water so those two factors make it just a terrible idea to just try to cross the road submerged in water,” said Richard Thompson, Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

“While it doesn't necessarily look that dangerous the water is flowing, there are currents beneath that and you can see how muddy and murky it is,” said Division Chief Jason Shivers, Forsyth County Fire Department.

Emergency officials said don’t chance it and don’t even try.