I've confirmed that the location is correct. Another co-worker actually towed him to the shoulder while he waited an eternity for AAA to show up.
I didn't get the sense he was "embarrassed", just surprised (like me) at the diagnosis.
I think I'll know enough to not drive through the water.
As I've stated above, I'm very skeptical of the diagnosis (of a new engine). The co-worker told me the vehicle did not leak any fluids, so that rules out a rod through the block or out the bottom of the engine. But assuming there was damage to one or more connecting rods (internally), isn't that something that could've been repaired (as opposed to throwing in another used engine with who knows how many issues it might have?). Only a day or two later, the dealership was informing him he needed a new engine (for $20,000). But then, once Insurance got involved, that became a used engine (w/60,000 miles) for $11,000 installed! At that point, I would've been looking more closely at the actual damage to MY engine (if there was any at all), and estimating the cost to repair it, because there was only 70,000 on his engine.
Are the connecting rods fabricated to deform to save the crankshaft in cases like this? You'd think they would be...