It was all “just instinct” when Chris Harvey, 29, a Beaumont Firefighter, jumped into the water to save a 19-year-old  Bridge City man whose vehicle has just plunged into the water off of Highway 87.

Harvey was traveling about 2 p.m. Monday in his 2012 Ford F-250 on Highway 87 on his way to Bridge City when he saw the blue Ford Explorer, driven by Dalton Ivy, about 100 yards ahead of him. The pair had just passed FM 1006 when things suddenly went wrong.

Ivy was in the right lane and he initially thought a vehicle stopped in the lane ahead of him was moving. However, as he approached, he discovered the vehicle was actually stopped.

Ivy quickly tried to avoid striking the vehicle by swerving to the left which caused him to spin out of control and “fishtail.”

“Luckily, I was far enough behind him,” Harvey said.

Ivy said he had to swerve to miss the stopped vehicle and nearly hit the median which caused him to “over correct.”

The vehicle struck a curb and began flipping forward end over end into the water.

Harvey immediately stopped his vehicle and got out.

“It was just instinct,” Harvey said. “As soon as I saw it, I stopped.”

He started stripping off his clothes as he ran across the roadway and jumped into the water. As a result of the wreck, part of the roof of the SUV had collapsed which left an air pocket.

With water up to his chin, Ivy searched for the nearby air pocket to put his face so he could breathe. He reached his hand out and began to yell for help. Harvery crawled across the hood of the vehicle and grabbed onto Ivy’s hand.

“I was relieved to say the least,” Ivy said.

Ivy said he does not remember the vehicle flipping, only how happy he was to see Harvey’s hand. Ivy managed to escape inury with only a few minor scratches.

Harvey does not think this was anything more than just an instinct he has as a firefighter to help those in need.

‘I knew I only had a small amount of time to react,” he said and so, he did because that’s what firefighters do best.

A Ford Explorer driven by Dalton Ivy, plunged into the water about 2 p.m. Monday after a near miss with a parked vehicle on Highway 87. Ivy was rescued by an off-duty firefighter who was passing by the location.