Driver escapes from submerged, upside down car

Updated:

DOUGLAS, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A man was able to free himself from his car as it was being submerged in water.

Officials in Douglas say 21-year-old Jeffrey Stanhope's car slid into the Whitin Reservoir and overturned in more than seven feet of water Sunday night. Officials said Stanhope was able to free himself from his seat and get out of the vehicle.

"To be upside down in the dark cold water and have the presence of mind to unbuckle your seatbelt and then navigate your way out of a vehicle by finding a door handle in complete darkness is actually baffling," said Douglas Fire Chief Kent Vinson.

After freeing himself from the car, Stanhope walked about a third of a mile down a dark road and found a home with lights on. The homeowner found Stanhope dripping wet and gave him a blanket and towels to dry himself off with.

"The neighbor did a very fine job seeing that the person was hypothermic," said Vinson.

Stanhope was taken to UMass Medical Center for lacerations and mild hypothermia.

The incident is under investigation.