St. Pete restaurateur rescued from watery car wreck | News
St. Petersburg, Floida -- A dramatic and heroic rescue Wednesday near St. Pete Beach saved a local restaurateur, who drove his car off the road, crashing into the water next to a bridge.
Photo Gallery: Car in water
It happened at the Isla Key bridge along the Pinellas Bayway.
In his 20 plus years of fishing in the area, Kevin Daly says he'd seen a lot of sunken boats, but this was his first BMW.
"It kind of splashed out there," said Daly, "but when I tied it off it actually came right here and sunk right here."
Just after 10 a.m., Daly says he was about to pass under the Isla Key Bridge when a friend in the boat in front of him told him a car, that had careened down the grass embankment, was now in danger of sliding into deeper water.
And it appeared, he said, to still have someone inside.
"He said there's a guy in that car! So I was closer. I zipped over here and I just got out and I was banging on the windows and I could see him inside, breathing, but he was unconscious," said Daly.
Daly says he didn't hesitate to jump in the water, and with the help of another good samaritan, pulled 63-year-old Demetri Provias out of the car.
The two men helped Provias to the seawall, and out of danger.
"Thank God," said Provias's nephew, Ted Skiadiotis.
Provias, it turns out, is part of the family that owns the well-known Skidders Restaurant on St. Pete Beach.
Skiadiotis says Provias was there this morning with his wife, when he volunteered to go to a nearby store to pick up some Cuban bread.
When he didn't come back, they got worried.
"He was gone for a good 45 minutes. Publix is down the road. It's a two minute drive," he said.
Provias, who was taken to Palms of Pasadena Hospital, told family members he was feeling fine now.
He later told 10 News he felt "perfect", and felt he had an angel looking after him. He also planned, he said to head back to work tomorrow.
Provias had apparently suffered a diabetic shock from low blood sugar.
The entire family is very grateful to the modest men who helped save his life.
"It's an everyday thing, you know," said Daly, when asked if he considered himself a hero. "Everybody should help everybody when they can."
The other gentleman who jumped in the water, has been identified as Gus Hertz, who lives in the building next to where the car entered the water and apparently witnessed it taking place.
Provias's relatives say they're looking forward to thanking the heroes that saved Dimetri in person at their restaurant.
"My uncle was always saying he wanted a new car," joked Skiadiotis, "Now he's got a reason to get one."