(FITCHBURG, Mass.) -- A Massachusetts police force is pressing criminal charges against a man after his 8-year-old son swam to shore and walked a mile home barefoot to call 911 Thursday morning following a car accident, Paul McNamara of the Fitchburg Police Department told ABC News.
The boy was released to the Department of Children and Family Services earlier Thursday, according to police.
The boy, Joshua Garcia, was driving with his father, Eugene Garcia, in Fitchburg at approximately 3 a.m. when the car hit a guardrail, traveled airborne and landed upside down on a sandbank in the middle of the Nashua River, said Brian Belliveau, deputy fire chief for the Fitchburg Fire Department.
After the car crashed, said Belliveau, Joshua lifted himself out of the car, waded across the river and walked approximately 25 minutes to his house to wake up his mother and call 911. The firefighters were able to successfully remove Eugene, who was alert, from the car.
McNamara, a traffic specialist for the Fitchburg Police Department, told ABC News that Joshua was wearing his seatbelt and unbuckled it when he noticed his father had injuries. He ran home barefoot and drenched to call 911.
“He is a hero,” said McNamara.
Both the father and son were transported to the Health Alliance hospital in Leominster after police arrived. Mary Lourdes Burke, a spokesperson for the hospital, said both father and son were treated and released from the emergency department.
Belliveau speculated that there might have been excessive speeding involved. He said Fitchburg police are conducting an investigation into the incident.
McNamara said he could not provide any specific details about the criminal charges until he had filed them with the court, which was closed for July 4.
ABC News spoke with Paul Jarvey, deputy director of communications for the Worcester County District Attorney (also closed for the holiday), who did not provide any information beyond what the police reported.
ABC News’ calls to the Garcia family were not returned.
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