Despite the extraordinary efforts of emergency responders, Les Gunther, 88, of San Juan Island man died after he hit the accelerator instead of the brakes and drove into a pond at his home.
His wife and daughter were able to exit the car through the back seat door. When his daughter turned around after helping her mother escaped the car had sunk into the murky 10-foot deep pond.
San Juan Island EMS, San Juan Island Fire and Rescue and deputies responded within 7 minutes of the call to dispatch. They found the car 40 feet from the shore.
Gunther was rescued from the car .within seven minutes of the arrival of rescuers on the scene.
Resuscitation techniques were immediately initiated, however, the elderly patient was pronounced dead at the scene.
One of the EMTs and a deputy sheriff were seen at Peace Island Emergency Department for possible water inhalation injuries, and were treated and released.
"The actions of the first responders, disregarding their personal safety resulted in a timely rescue, and was above and beyond the call of duty," said Sheriff Rob Nou.