DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –Joggers at Bachman Lake usually see geese and river otters. This morning, just after six, Denise McElroy and Mark Sorley, saw a car coming from Northwest Highway, at a pretty good clip, plunge into Bachman Lake.
“We were about halfway through our run, about two miles into it, and the truck came off the street, skidded across the grass and into the lake,” McElroy said.
“It didn’t appear to slow down, like it was in danger. Just continued at that speed all the way into the water. So, we thought something’s really wrong here,” Sorley said.
McElroy called 911 and then waded into the lake with Mark. But they couldn’t open the doors and they didn’t have anything on them to break the glass. They felt helpless.
“Because he was right there on the other side of the glass and there was nothing we could do too. He was pounding on the glass trying to get outand we couldn’t do anything,” Sorley said.
“He just said, ‘What’s going on? He would sound very calm. He wasn’t afraid. He wasn’t panicked,” McElroy said.
And then, the car sank further into the water, covering the man inside.
“The window was halfway down, so I could see into the car and se him and…and…just looking him in the eye when he went under the water. So, it was pretty scary,” McElroy said with emotion surfacing.
Three Dallas police officer arrived soon after and pulled out the unconscious man after breaking the sunroof with a police baton.
Officer Ryan Mabry said, “When I was at the passenger door, I attempted to slam this end into it. I couldn’t get any swings. And, once I got on top, saw the sunroof on top, I just came down. Smacked on top.”
Officer Mabry said he attempted several chest compressions on the man while they were still on the roof of the car.
Sgt. Matt Williamson started full CPR and the man came to.
Officer Sean Mock assisted them both though he has a strong fear of dark and deep waters.
“It’s just one of those childhood fears, you know? You watch too many scary movies and it gets stuck in your head,” he said.
Police say doctors told them the man is going to be okay.
“I’m very glad he’s going to be okay. What we hand when we pulled him out of the vehicle, it didn’t look good,” Officer Mock said.
Very few people were at Bachman Lake at six in the morning Friday. If the two joggers had not been there…if police officers had not been less than a mile away…if they couldn’t break the glass, this might have been a very different story.
There is no award for being at the right place at the right time. But Dallas Police Chief David Brown awarded the three officers and two citizens for heroic efforts at an impromptu ceremony at Dallas Police Headquarters.
He said, “I called the citizens heroes and the officer’s hero’s heroes.”
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