CLEARWATER — Police and bystanders rescued a man from a vehicle submerged in a retention pond off State Road 580 on Thursday, authorities said.
The man, who was not identified, was headed west on SR 580 just past McMullen-Booth Road about 3:15 p.m. when he crashed through a fence and landed in the pond.
A witness went to the nearby Countryside police substation and reported the accident.
Three bystanders were already in the water when officers arrived. They helped motorcycle officers Michael Hatch and Chad Reed pull the man from the vehicle, which appeared to be a Honda SUV.
"I shed my gear and went in," Hatch said. "Somebody produced a knife, which we used to cut the seat belt."
The driver was not breathing. Clearwater paramedics treated the man and restored his pulse before he was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. No information on his condition was available at press time.
By 7 p.m., the SUV was removed from 8 to 10 feet of water and a dive team determined the driver was alone.