FOLSOM, CA - An off-duty Folsom Fire captain is credited with saving a boy's life after the 13-year-old was seriously injured following a weekend crash on Folsom Lake.
The accident happened as Folsom Fire Department Capt. Eric Lefkove relaxed aboard his boat in Folsom Lake near Folsom Point around 5:45 p.m. Sunday, Folsom Fire Chief Dan Haverty said.
Lefkove said two boys were circling his boat on personal watercraft when the pair accidentally collided head-on. While one of the boys emerged unhurt, 13-year-old Connor Chavez was thrown from his craft and remained motionless, face down in the water.
"We heard a loud crash, looked over and saw one of the skiers get launched into the water," Lefkove said. "The other skier swam over to him and began to yell for some help."
Haverty said, Lefkove, a trained paramedic, pulled the unconscious boy out of the water and immediately began first aid after recognizing the severity of Connor's injuries.
Lefkove called the Folsom Fire Department, who sent emergency crews to meet Lefkove's boat at the dock and rush the boy to the UC Davis Medical Center in critical condition with major injuries to his face.
"Had it not been for Captain Lefkove's immediate recognition and response to the accident, and his quick emergency care, the boy would not have survived," Haverty said.
Chavez's mother Janey Orr said Connor was stable Wednesday, but it was still unclear what long-term affects her son may have suffered from the crash.
The boy suffered a severe blood clot as well as a stroke following the crash. Connor was just beginning to breathe again on his own without a ventilator Wednesday and was communicating with family members, Orr said.
"It could've been a whole lot worse if it weren't for all the heroic parties responsible," Orr said. "It could've ended up a death on the lake. We are very lucky. Connor is very lucky."