Car crashes through fence, into pool

A man was sent to hospital with mild hypothermia after driving his car into a pool in Ottawa....

A man was sent to hospital with mild hypothermia after driving his car into a pool in Ottawa. (Darren Brown/QMI Agency)

Danielle Bell, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:34 PM ET

OTTAWA — A routine drive to work on Monday turned into anything but for Dan Kroeger when he found himself rescuing a man whose car had plunged into a freezing swimming pool.

The 28-year-old and his girlfriend were travelling southwest of downtown when a car just ahead of them suddenly careened out of control.

"Out of the blue, this car just shot off to the right and kept accelerating and gaining speed," Kroeger said. "I think the car actually got airborne."

They watched in horror as the car sped across a sidewalk and up a hill, plowed through a fence and crashed into an apartment complex swimming pool.

Kroeger pulled over and ran to the pool. The car had cleared the deep end — another few feet and it could have smashed into cement.

Without hesitation, Kroeger and another man jumped in to help.

The other witness tried to keep the car from moving toward the deep end while Kroeger jumped onto its roof. He tried unsuccessfully to smash a window with his elbow, before getting his girlfriend to grab a tire iron from his car.

He then smashed the rear window and managed to unlock the driver's door.

"The driver was completely incoherent and had no idea of his surroundings," Kroeger said.

The water level in the car was about chest-high on the driver, whom Kroeger and the other witness managed to drag to safety.

The water was freezing but both rescuers managed to stay calm.

Dozens of other motorists passed by without stopping, but Kroeger doesn't consider himself a hero.

"I think it's just what a lot of Good Samaritans would do," he said. "I'm sure everyone hopes people would do the same thing for them."

A soaking-wet Kroeger talked to police and drove his girlfriend to work before returning to his west-end home to change clothes and then head to his job.

Considering the rush-hour traffic and nearby bus stops crowded with people, the situation could have been much worse, Kroeger said.

The 57-year-old driver was treated for mild hypothermia and was taken to hospital in stable condition.

Police continue to investigate and have yet to rule out a medical condition as the cause of the crash.

danielle.bell@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasundbell


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