By Mary Milz, WTHR Citybeat reporter - bio | email
FISHERS, Ind. -
An Anderson man is in critical condition after crashing his car into a Fishers retention pond Tuesday morning.
Investigators say 55-year-old Ronald Perry was driving west on 126th Street when, for an unknown reason, his vehicle veered across eastbound lanes, drove over a curb, through a fence and ended up partially submerged in a pond near Hawks Landing Drive.
Witness Amber Ross jumped into the water when she saw the car in the water.
"I was actually heading into work," said Ross. "Normally I run about 30 minutes sooner than that."
But this morning, late was lucky for the crash victim.
"I saw him swerve off the roadway then go into the pond," said Ross. "Honestly, I can't tell you what was going through my mind, I just reacted. It's cold out today, so the first thing I thought was, if someone went in that water, they needed help."
Ross directed two other men to call 911 and use a hammer to break one of the car's windows.The doors were locked and she could see Perry slumped inside the car, unconscious.
"Make sure his airway was clear and that he was breathing," said Ross.
Police and fire personnel arrived on the scene after the Good Samaritans had pulled Perry to shore. The two other men had begun administering CPR on Perry when medics arrived.
"I needed to get him out of the car, because the water was cold," said Ross, a former high school lifeguard.
She was quick to credit others for assisting in Perry's rescue.
"I think it takes a community to help a community. Everybody from the two men that helped me, if they hadn't had a hammer or something to break it, it probably would have took me longer to find a rock or something else that would've worked," said Ross, a former military medic, "To the lady that talked to 911 and got the dispatch there. No one person can do everything, it takes everybody working together to help other people."
Perry was taken to IU Health Saxony Hospital. Ross said she has been in contact with Perry's family and sat with his wife for awhile Tuesday afternoon.
"I am so grateful, truly, to the Good Samaritans that came along to actually save my brother's life," said Perry's sister, Brenda Hull.
"The fact that I was running late to work today was probably the biggest miracle of all," Ross said. "It put the right people in the right place at the right time."
Police say it is possible Perry suffered a medical condition prior to driving in the pond. They say road conditions were dry at the time of the crash.
"At the end of the day, all I really cared about was helping somebody that needed help," Ross said. "I feel like what I did is what anyone would do if they were faced with the situation that someone needed help, or at least I'd like to think anyone would be that way."
"I don't even know if what we're expressing now expresses how grateful we are for all you have done," said Jane Perry, another of Perry's sisters.