By Rick Palsgrove
Rescuing a man trapped in the water under a lawn mower was a team effort as citizens, police, and firefighters worked together to save him.
According to Groveport Police Lt. Josh Short, at around 1:20 p.m. on Sept. 2, officers were dispatched to the area of State Route 317 and London-Groveport Road on the report of a man trapped under a riding lawn mower in a pond.
“Upon arrival we saw a zero turn lawn mower upside down in the large retention pond with two men next to it,” said Short. “As (Groveport Police) Officer Kevin Chavez and I ran to the mower, we saw that the two men were pushing the mower up so that the victim could keep his head above the water. The victim’s legs were pinned under the mower and his head was just barely above water. I was able to help the men push the mower up and Officer Chavez was able to pull the victim out and up toward the bank.”
Short said they then flipped the mower upright so the gas tank would stop leaking into the pond. First responders from the Madison Township Fire Department then arrived and transported the victim to the hospital with a lower leg injury.
“The two men who were helping were truck drivers who had been stopped at the traffic light on Rohr Road at State Route 317 and heard the victim yelling for help,” said Short. “They immediately pulled their trucks to the side of the road and ran to help. The victim is Hispanic so there was a bit of a language barrier. We are unsure how long he was in the water so it is a blessing that these men heard his calls for help and were willing to assist.”
Short said this was also Officer Chavez’s first day as a Groveport Police Officer.
“He had only been sworn in with us about five hours prior to this incident,” said Short. “Officer Chavez showed no hesitation running to and into the water was vitally important in helping to free the victim. Great job on his first day with us.”