The personal chef for Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner this morning saved the life of a semi-truck driver who crashed his rig off a sharp turn in the West Hills and into the NBA player's swimming pool.

"I just held his head above water for 10-15 minutes," says Kenny James, the chef.

James is the chef for Turner and several other Trail Blazers players, including guard C.J. McCollum. He moved to Portland from California five years ago to work as Damian Lillard's personal chef.

This morning, James was in Turner's Southwest Portland home when the semi-truck failed to navigate a hairpin turn, broke through a guardrail and a hedge, and plunged about 20 feet into the pool.

The driver plunged through this hedge. (KATU)
The driver plunged through this hedge. (KATU)

"I was standing in the kitchen," James says. "I heard a loud noise, like a really loud screech."

He looked across the street, expecting to see the truck there. Then he looked at the pool and deck—and rushed to help.

"Half of his body was under water," James tells KATU. "Tried to get to his leg, but he was stuck with his leg pinned between the steering column. I didn't want to move him, so I held on to his torso, almost like doing the Heimlich so he wouldn't thrash around and cause any harm to himself."

The driver, who was taken to a local hospital, is expected to survive.