Several Allen County Sheriff's Department officers stripped off their gear and waded into a dark pond to rescue a drowning driver from his submerged car by cutting his seat belt.
The unconscious man, the only person in the car, was taken to a hospital in serious condition, according to the sheriff's department.
The rescue occurred about 10 p.m. Wednesday in the 13800 block of Tonkel Road in northern Allen County after the driver had plowed through a home, his car breaking through a back sliding door and traveling about 50 feet more into the pond.
The officers had to respond quickly as the car took on more water and became completely submerged with the man inside.
Police said they were able to cut the driver's seat belt and pull him out of the open driver's side window and drag him to shore.
A neighbor who asked not to be identified because of the ongoing investigation said the driver had been idling his car just off the home's driveway on the grass when the family pulled in behind him and stopped to get mail on the east side of the road.
The home sits about 250 feet from Tonkel Road.
The neighbor said the family, which has done extensive remodeling at the home including in the kitchen, was puzzled to see someone parked there and thought they were getting robbed.
Instead, the driver took off, hitting the riser on the front porch first, which may have propelled the driver into the air, giving the car the force to blast through the kitchen, out the back sliding door and into the pond, the neighbor said.
Another neighbor reported to him that the car was seen going “back and forth all over the road,” speeding up and slowing down before the driver pulled into the driveway.
The neighbor heard a thump and went outside to see the pond and home surrounded by police, fire and emergency vehicles.
Adam Griffith, public information officer for the sheriff's department, said no charges had been filed.
On Thursday, the home was boarded up and yellow police tape was strung across the porch area. Plywood boarded up the front door and a larger area where the car broke through the home's wall.