Dad dies saving 3 Y.O. daughter after car goes into pond

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A 3-year-old girl is in the hospital after a car went into a pond on the city’s northeast side. Her 24-year-old father, Anthony Burgess Jr., who rescued the girl from the pond, has died.

Burgess Jr. died as a result of his injuries.

Dive teams, boats and other emergency responders from Indianapolis Fire Department were called to the 8700 block of Fluvia Terrace, just off 86th Street and Allisonville Road, around 4:45 p.m. Sunday on a report of a car into a pond with possible entrapment at the Core Riverbend Apartments.

Crews on the scene were told that two witnesses entered the water to try to pull people out. One of them was able to pull a 3-year-old girl out of the water, with the assistance of firefighters.

She was transported to The Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and was alert and talking but in critical condition at 6 p.m. Sunday, according to Battalion Chief Rita Reith with IFD.

Reith says the girl’s father jumped into the water and told the girl to move to the backseat of the vehicle as it began to sink. Reith said the dad was able to pull his daughter from the car in the water even though he did not know how to swim. Then a witness carried her the rest of the way to shore.

IFD divers located him with the help of a witness named Chris Cattlett; crews entered the water and pulled the girl’s father out. He was taken to St. Vincent and was also in critical condition on Sunday, but later died from his injuries, Reith said

“Best chance at survival because everybody stayed on scene and was able to communicate the exact location they saw the car go into the water,” Reith said.

Norma Rueda said her son spotted the car in the water, so she told her other son to call 911.

“We were just encouraging them to just try and get out, really,” Rueda said.

IFD said the bystander, who rescued the girl, was taken to the hospital in good condition and treated for symptoms of hypothermia. He told investigators he doesn’t know how he did what he did because he doesn’t know how to swim, either.

Firefighters said at least one other bystander also went in to try to help.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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