Lifestyle & Human Interest

Police Save Pair from Sinking Car After Driver Plows Through Fence and Into Lake


April 15 was almost the last ride two people in Dartmouth, Mass., took after their car plunged into a lake that night.

It was around 10:40 p.m. when the 2016 Ford Focus ran through a fence on #950 State Road and careened into Lake Noquochoke, quickly sinking into 6-7 feet of water.

“I heard screeching, a long screeching sound,” Audrey Huggon, who lives nearby, told WJAR.

“And then waiting for impact, it was a couple of seconds, and then we heard an impact.

“There was a young man on the trunk of a submerged car, front end submerged, yelling for help … I felt helpless.”

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Police were soon on the scene. Dartmouth Police Department Officers Justin Amaral and Joseph Hilchey, and Westport Police Department Officer Jeremy Dellecese, stripped off their gear and swam about 100 feet out to the sinking vehicle as the screaming continued.

“Upon reaching the vehicle, the officers were able to effectively assist the two … occupants out, and, with the assistance of other emergency personnel now on scene, back to shore,” the Dartmouth Police Department shared on April 16.

“Subsequent to reaching the shoreline, the two occupants of the vehicle, as well as one of the officers, were transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, where they were treated and released for exposure and minor injuries.

“Though the crash is still under investigation, it appears as if alcohol and speed, as well as lack of knowledge of the area, all contributed to the crash.

“It is expected that the twenty-one-year-old North Attleboro man who was operating the vehicle, will receive citations associated with the crash.”

Despite the unfortunate circumstances under which the accident took place, the police are still heroes for their quick response and selfless actions.

“We all see stories every day about heroic action, but to see it firsthand, and to see those [officers] jump into the water — the cold water — and swim out to that car, incredible,” Huggon said.

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“Lucky, lucky people. All of them.”

“Had it not been for the selfless acts of these officers, this unfortunate incident could have turned out much worse,” Dartmouth Deputy Chief of Police, Tony Vincent, added.

“Not only do I applaud their heroic efforts, but also those of our dispatchers and the other first responders associated with this crash and subsequent rescue.”

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