Deputy rescues driver from submerged vehicle

HOUSTON It happened at about 6:30pm Wednesday. Deputy Donald Hess was dispatched to the scene of a major traffic accident at Bay Area Park. When he arrived, a witness stated that a car traveling northwest on Bay Area Boulevard had left the roadway and entered a retention pond. The witness said that the vehicle had been underwater for approximately 20 minutes. He also stated he attempted to rescue the driver, but was unable to open the driver's side door.

Deputy Hess immediately removed his shirt, vest and gun belt and entered the water, along with the witness, to rescue the driver and any occupants. They located the vehicle approximately 20 feet from the shoreline.

After locating the driver's side window, Deputy Hess used his baton to break the window. The witness held the driver's head while Deputy Hess cut the upper and lower seat belts. Deputy Hess and the witness pulled the driver to shore where EMS personnel were waiting. The driver was taken to Clear Lake Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.

The bodies of the driver's three dogs were later recovered from the submerged vehicle.

The exact cause of the accident is under investigation but preliminary reports indicate that the driver may have suffered a medical condition prior to his car leaving the roadway.

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