Do-Gooders Free Teens Trapped Inside a Submerged SUV (VIDEO)

Utah Do-Gooders Save Teens Trapped Inside Submerged SUV
Good Samaritans flip over SUV in Utah

09/22/2014 AT 06:30 PM EDT

A group of strangers who jumped into Salt Lake City's Jordan River are being hailed as heroes after saving three teenage boys who were inside an SUV that careened over a cliff and into the fast-moving waters.

According to witnesses, the boys were driving down the road when the driver failed to effectively stop at a red light, crashing through a retaining wall and falling upside down into the water, ABC 4 in Utah reports.

"The vehicle exploded in front of me right there, just pieces and parts. It's like nothing you would see in your entire life," Brian Adams told the news station.

Adams said a couple quickly went toward the car and freed the two passengers, but could not get the driver out.

Yet within seconds, help arrived – in droves.

"Ten people jumped down into the water," Adams said. "Just bystanders that saw it happen, just flipped it over so that he wouldn't die."

Dramatic video shows them working together to flip the 3,000-pound vehicle as they wade in the chilly water.

"I don't think I had any other thought than to jump in and to try and save the people," rescuer Ed Kirby told Good Morning America.

Fellow rescuer Ron Darro told GMA that once they flipped the SUV over, "there was no movement from [the driver] for about five minutes," he said.

Fire crews eventually got him out, and he's now in serious condition at an area hospital.

"I think he's alive because people reacted so quickly," Darro said – and authorities agree.

"We have three teenage boys that went to the hospital. It would have been entirely different if those people hadn't been here," Lt. Brian Burvis of the Salt Lake City Police Department told ABC 4.

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