Sumter Officer Rescues Man from Sinking Car

7:34 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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Sumter, SC (WLTX) - He was just doing his job: that's what a Sumter police officer said after rescuing a man from his submerged car.

Officer Quentin Eley was on patrol last Friday night when he noticed two cars stopped on the bridge over Sumter's Second Mill Pond.

Thinking the cars were involved in an accident, Eley got out of his patrol car, only to discover that another vehicle had gone off the road and ended up in the pond.

The 25-year-old officer could see the car sinking and jumped in to save the person inside, rescuing 38-year-old Marcel Cimpean.

"What he did was solely base on instinct "What he did was solely based on instinct and his desire to help someone who he knew...but for the fact that he jumped in that water, would have drowned," said Chief Russell Roark of the Sumter Police Department.

"From movies you think the car door is going to be really hard to open," Eley said. "It was underwater, but it opened right up. I'm sure Mr. Cimpean helped open it up as well."

Witnesses told police Cimpean was driving at a high rate of speed when  car left the road, hit a tree, and ended up in the pond.  After being treated at Tuomey Hospital, Cimpean was charged DUI.

He's already been released on bond.

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