Police pull unconscious New Port Richey man from SUV in Cotee River

Published Aug. 19, 2017

NEW PORT RICHEY — Police rescued an unconscious driver whose sport utility vehicle plunged into the Cotee River on Saturday.

The driver, who police did not identify, was taken to Bayonet Point Hospital, where he is in stable condition, he said.

A man was driving west on Main Street around noon, when he had a medical episode, said Sgt. Erik Jay of the New Port Richey Police Department spokesman.

The episode caused him to crash his tan Ford Explorer into an eastbound car. The Explorer continued down an embankment and into the water.

Jay said police responded in seconds, jumping into the water and breaking the front drivers' side window. The man was unconscious when they arrived.

Officers dragged him out of the vehicle and swam to shore with him in tow.

It took about four hours to recover the SUV, Jay said.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office divers helped remove the vehicle, using rubber bladders to float it to the center of the river. A tow truck pulled it to shore from there.