GREENWOOD, Ind. — A man is dead after he crashed into a retention pond Saturday afternoon.
The White River Township Fire Department said the crash happened just before 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of North State Road 135.
When firefighters arrived, they found bystanders trying to rescue 73-year-old Norman Helmke from the water. The vehicle was submerged by the time they arrived. Medics transported the diver to a local hospital in critical condition where he later died.
The department calls the effort by bystanders who tried to save him heroic.
“It’s a really remarkable show of concern for humankind. When I get the chance to see him, I’m going to express to him how grateful I am for them that they’re willing to take a risk like that,” Chief Jeremy Pell with the White River Township Fire Department said. “At the same time, that’s a very, very serious risk. I’m glad that they called 911 quickly, I’m glad that they didn’t spend too much time in the water because it’s not survivable without the right equipment.”
The road conditions around the time of the crash were cold and wet with light snow and slick spots. The department advises people to slow down and give people more space.
“We will always be here when you call us, that’s our job, but what we hope is we can send a safety message that enables people to avoid incidents rather than get in a situation where they need to be rescued,” Pell said.
The department was assited at the scene by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, Greenwood Police Department, White River Fire Department and Indianapolis Fire Department.