Police say a man died after driving into a retention pond on Friday afternoon. It happened in South Hill just before three o’clock.
The man reportedly dialed 911 on his own, according to Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Darren Moss.
“The driver called himself and told dispatchers where he was and that his vehicle was filling with water, but he couldn’t get out,” recalled Moss.
The 69-year-old male driver who made the call, according to Moss, lived close by.
“We know that the vehicle came down Sunrise Parkway, which has a curve to it, and he continued straight into the grass, over a bush, and into the pond,” said Moss.
After the man dialed 911 from his car, deputies raced to the pond just as it began to sink.
Before finally sinking, “it was up for about five or ten minutes,” according to Moss. “One deputy stripped off everything and tried to swim out to the car.”
After failing to locate the vehicle, the deputy swam back to shore to wait for divers and the fire department to arrive and begin searching the pond floor.
“You can see very much right in front of your face that they primarily do it through touch. So when he reached the back window, he could see the driver sitting in the back, according to Moss.
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To get the man out, the diver had to smash the back window. The individual didn’t have a seatbelt on, and according to Moss, they think he attempted to exit the vehicle. On his way to the hospital, the man passed away. Divers searched the vehicle for any further occupants.
No one else was inside the car, but Moss noted that the driver’s side window and sunroof were both open.
How the man ended himself in the pond is still under investigation by the police. Police at least know the man was conscious for some time and wasn’t disoriented because he was able to contact 911 and give them precise location information, according to Moss.
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