VA hospital officer saves family, including baby from floodwaters

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A police officer at Charleston's VA hospital is being hailed as one of Tropical storm Irma's heroes.

Lt. Dareyl Stark risked his own life to save three people including a baby who were trapped in their car in Irma's floodwaters.

Stark says he was he was in the right place at the right time. He was on routine patrol Monday afternoon when he heard a woman yelling for help to save her baby who was still in the family's car.

He says the woman and her husband were driving with their baby in the back seat when they attempted to leave the parking lot at the Comfort Inn on Bee Street, apparently thinking they could make it through the floodwater. Suddenly, they found themselves trapped.

Stark says the woman was trying to push the car out of the water.

"I think when she got out she realized that she was literally in over her head getting out of her vehicle," he said.

The officer jumped in to the waist-high water to help.

"I was actually in about pretty close to four feet of water myself," Stark said. "My main concern obviously was the child in the back seat who appeared to be about one year of age. Then the father reached back, got her out, you could see the water coming inside the vehicle."

Stark says he then pulled the father to safety through the driver's side window. He also managed to get the mom to dry land.

He said the entire incident lasted about a minute-and-a-half.

Stark says none of the three people were hurt, but said the situation could very easily have had a different outcome.

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