Several people rescued from vehicle trapped in retention pond

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by Shern-min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 19 at 11:04 PM

SPRING, Texas -- Seven people were sent to area hospitals after an accident on Monday afternoon between a Lexus with a 92-year-old driver and a landscaping truck carrying several workers.

It happened at the entrance to Saint Edwards Church on Spring Stuebner near I-45, where a wake was being held for Pastor Joe Geitl.

Bryan Hartmann was on his way to the wake because Pastor Geitl was his uncle. Hartmann heard a louch screech, looked up and saw “a luxury class vehicle actually take air and land in the water.”

Hartmann jumped in to help.

“It was nearly submerged,” Hartmann said. “The water level was up to my chest.”

Hartmann, an EMS professional, was in the right place at the right time. He started talking to the man behind the wheel, Bill Hablinsky, 92, to keep him calm.

“He was a little disoriented,” Hartmann said. “He was very aggravated. He was very upset, but he knows my uncle well. He was on the way to the funeral so we had a nice little discussion about that.”

Harris County deputies said as Hablinsky turned into the parking lot at St. Edwards, he broadsided a Landscaping Management Services truck.

Several people were pulled from the pond and transported to different hospitals. Paramedics said no one seemed seriously hurt.

An employee who came later said he’d checked on his co-workers at the hospital and that they were all going to be okay.

There was bad news though for Hartmann. He was sopping wet after the rescue so he raced back to his hotel to change clothes and got a speeding ticket. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy was unmoved by his rescue tale and his wet clothes.

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