MERCED, Calif. (AP) — A homeless couple in Merced are being hailed as heroes for rescuing four people whose car plunged into a creek.

Joseph Edwards and his common-law wife, Bernice Gonzales, were huddled under a downtown bridge during a rainy night when they saw a car miss a turn on a street, go over an embankment and flip into Bear Creek around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The Merced Sun-Star reports that while Gonzales called 911, Edwards jumped into the frigid water. He had helped all four people out of the water by the time police and fire crews arrived.

Police Cmdr. Floyd Higdon says the victims were taken to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia and minor injuries.

Edwards told the Sun-Star that responding officers were grateful for his efforts and gave him a blanket and $5 for some coffee to warm up.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (17)
  1. Edward Cates says:

    A real Christmas Story……….. Hurray !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Doug says:

    A blanket and $5.00 for coffee to warm up what a joke.

  3. Carmichael Craig says:

    We should be buying them a home !!!!

  4. JC says:

    Hey Doug, are you going to take the lead in getting more donations?

    1. Tina says:

      In this day & age of people who do not give one hill of beans for anyone but themselves …,this man is a hero, his actions were at the rsik of his own life being lost and/or being harmed in some way…If there was a way to donate I would…In my community people here would…I can’t believe how anyone would not want to reward these people…I mean come on $5.00 is an insult…really an insult…the community needs to step up…with a thank you of more generous proportions….sincerley he deserves this much …maybe the people he saved can jump start what surely needs to be is freezing outside…

  5. Jordan says:

    What a bunch of givers! $5.00 for coffee and a blanket? Really? So the homeless guy who jumped in the same water wasn’t suffering from hypothermia? Go Merced.

  6. Ben Miller says:

    How much did you give them?

  7. Geneva Martinez says:

    FIVE dollars wow I think I would have done a lot more then that. A least rent a room and get them a dinner.

    1. GARY ELMO says:


  8. geneva says:

    FIVE dollars wow I think I would have done a lot more then that. A least rent a room and get them a dinner.

  9. Ben Miller says:

    Put up or shut up. All these people, so generous with someone else’s money. Who do you want to pay the tab?

  10. Tina says:

    For you people who are saying “so generous with other peoples money”etc etc..give me a break, If I knew of somewhere to send it believe me I would and I don’t live in that County…Where I come from they would surely have been treated far better for saving 4 peoples lives AT RISK OF THEIR OWN!!! I can’t believe some of you posters…shame on you! I am sure you would feel different if it was your cold hearted butt that got saved …

  11. Lorie D Wharton says:

    There seem to be alot of generous loving people responding to this the same way that I reacted. After reading this article, my sister and I decided to see what we could do to raise some donations for the couple. I will open an account that donations can be made into in his name, but we have to find the couple in order to help them, so please if anyone has any information on how to locate them, contact me. It would be great if we could at least raise enough money for a couple nights in a motel and a nice christmas dinner.

  12. Tina Hamilton says:

    Lorie, you & your sister have restored my faith in humanity! I subscribed to this page to keep informed of any new deveolpments…I hope you find the couple I will be keeping an eye on my e~mail to see if you find them etc…

    1. Lorie D Wharton says:

      We’ve contacted Call 3 news to see if their investigative team can help us locate them. I will keep you posted.

      1. Tina Hamilton says:

        Thank you Lorie 🙂

  13. Mark Higgins says:

    The Officers and Firemen were probably on overtime making a $100 an hour and this poor couple gets $5! Give me a break!

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