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Treasure Coast boy honored for saving family from sinking car

Jacob Napoles was riding in this car when it crashed into a pond near the Jensen Beach Causeway on Jan. 20, 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:07 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 17:53:41-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Treasure Coast middle school student was honored Wednesday for his heroism in a tough situation.

When Jacob Napoles arrived at Northport K-8 Wednesday in Port St. Lucie with his family, he sensed something was up.

The TV cameras were perhaps a giveaway, but this trip to school was nothing like his trip to school back on Jan. 20.

"A car turned into our lane and crashed into us. At that moment, my mom lost control of the steering wheel. Lost control of the car and we went in the lake," Napoles said.

Sinking fast in that pond off the Jensen Beach Causeway, Napoles' mom told him to start kicking at his door.

"My brother had to stand on top of his seat to stay above the water," Napoles said.

"In seconds, it was up to Mommy’s lap," said Joshua Napoles, Jacob's 9-year-old brother.

"So I kept kicking and kicking over and over until I got that open," Jacob said.

"I swimmed out, one by one we swimmed out," Joshua said.

"Once it was open, we all escaped through the door on top of the Jeep," Jacon said.

Since the accident was in Martin County, Jacob received a challenge coin from Major John Budensiek of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara presented Jacob with a certificate in recognition of his actions, plus a second challenge coin for his heroism.

"Well I said he was a hero," Joshua said.

But Jacob said he just did what he had to do.

"I pretty much love everybody in my family and I’m happy that I saved them," Jacob said.