I meant to post this story when it first came out but I got distracted. You're always hearing about dogs that save their owner's life or cats that wake their families up in time to escape the fire, but you never hear about the lowly ant stepping up to save somebody's life. Now you have...
BY JONNELLE MARTE
No one saw 18-year-old Adrian Gregorio's car veer off the Don Shula Expressway early Sunday and plunge into a canal, Florida Highway Patrol officials said.
He still managed to pull himself out and swim to shore.
Then, he waited alone for help for at least 10 hours in the morning chill before a family found him lying on the grassy embankment next to the water, blood gushing from his head, they said.
They called police, and Gregorio was air-lifted to Ryder Trauma Center. His condition was unavailable Sunday.
Gregorio's 2006 Nissan 350Z sank into a canal just north of Florida's Turnpike and was barely visible to drivers, FHP Lt. Pat Santangelo said.
''If those people hadn't stopped in that particular spot, he may never have been found,'' Santangelo said.
The teen was apparently driving northbound on the Don Shula at about 1:30 a.m. when he swerved off the road, Santangelo said.
THANKS TO AN ANT
Gregorio, who had been reported missing overnight, was found purely by chance -- and thanks to an ant.
At around 11:40 a.m. Sunday, Reynaldo Acosta and his family were driving by the same canal when his 4-year-old son Sebastian complained that an ant was biting him.
Acosta, 42, pulled over to the side of the road near Southwest 117th Avenue so his girlfriend could swat the ant out of the boy's car seat, he said.
When Oskarina Martinez stepped out of the car, she saw Gregorio lying on the grass by the canal. Unable to move, he raised his arm to get their attention, she said.
''Thank God that we stopped there because of that ant,'' Martinez said in Spanish. ``He must have felt so desperate. The truth is that no one could see him.''
Acosta approached the faint teen, who told him he drove his car into the canal hours earlier. Acosta's older son called 911. Acosta also called Gregorio's mother to let her know her son was OK.
When Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived, Gregorio was in and out of consciousness.
''So in a way, the boy owes his life to the ant, partly also to my son, but more importantly to God,'' Acosta said.