GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - A passerby is being recognized for his heroic attempt to save a man after the man accidentally drove his vehicle into the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores.
Gary Gabel, 66, died after his SUV was swallowed by water Friday morning.
23-year-old Blake Clark who was driving by, jumped into the water and swam to the vehicle, in an attempt to save the trapped Gabel. Video shows Gabel's red SUV nosediving into the water with Clark swimming next to it.
“It was a very dangerous thing for him to do," Clark's grandfather, Charles McClary said. "Just blesses my soul, I mean it makes me know that he’s got a hero’s heart.”
Despite the tragic outcome, McClary hopes more people would do what Clark did.
"The Bible says "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," McClary said. "When you just put your life aside and go to help someone body else, that’s heroic, that’s what makes me proud.”
McClary fears Clark may be traumatized by the incident, but has offered him advice and praise for his courageous action.
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused Gabel to cross over Canal Road and drive into the water.