Officers pull man from SUV in Bachman Lake

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by MARJORIE OWENS

WFAA

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Updated Saturday, Jan 26 at 9:30 AM

Bachman Lake rescue

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DALLAS - Three officers and two residents were honored Friday morning following a high-water rescue at Bachman Lake in Dallas.

Officers pulled a man from an SUV that plunged into the lake around 6 a.m. in the 3500 block of West Northwest Highway in Dallas. Police blamed the accident on a medical problem, which led him to lose control of his SUV, veering off Northwest Highway and into the lake.

At 11 a.m., Chief David Brown honored Sgt. Matt Williamson and Officers Sean Mock and Ryan Mabry, who were involved in the high-water rescue.

"I still get chills reading this scenario about what happened," he said before handing each officer a certificate.

Also honored were two joggers who witnessed the accident and called 911. According to Brown and Williamson, the joggers went into the lake in an attempt to pull the man from the vehicle. However, they couldn't open the door due to the water pressure.

When the three officers arrived at the scene, Mock, who Brown said "is a little afraid of water," and Mabry immediately dove into the lake, breaking out the sunroof of the SUV and pulling the man from the vehicle.

"I looked and you couldn't see him," said Mabry from a podium at the Jack Evans Police Headquarters. "The gentleman was still submerged underneath, so I had to feel with my hand while on top to find where he was at. I was able to find him and get his head up." 

According to Brown, Mabry is a lifeguard and on the Dallas Police Department's dive team.

Brown said the driver had another medical issue arise while in the water. After he was pulled to the shore, Williamson performed CPR on the man as Mock and Mabry swam back to make sure no one else was inside the SUV.

The driver was transported to a nearby hospital after he was brought back to consciousness.

"It is a great outcome," Williamson said. "Yes, the best outcome we could ever have."

Brown said the driver is in good condition.

"He doesn't remember anything, according to doctors," Brown said with a smile while looking towards the officers. "Except that he has a sore chest, Mr. Williamson, from the CPR."

"This is phenomenal, fantastic work," he continued.

Brown said while searching for words to describe the officers and citizens' actions that led to the successful rescue, he found them.

"I called the citizens 'heroes,'" he said. "And called these three officers a 'hero's hero.'"

The joggers were each awarded a "Certificate of Merit" and the officers each received the "Meritorious Conduct Award" and the "Life Saving Award."

"Most of these waters, these lakes, are going to be pretty soggy, dark, and, at this time, cold," Mabry said. "Those things start going through my head to form a game plan of what we need to do to take care of the situation." 

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