A freak accident this evening on Mackle Road could have ended in tragedy had it not been for the immediate reaction by a 17-year-old resident, Martin Benko, and quick action by Cote Saint-Luc and Montreal emergency  personnel and volunteers.

CTV News is reporting an 86-year-old man is in hospital in critical condition after losing control of his car, crashing through the fence of a home in Cote St. Luc and plunging into an in-ground pool.

Mackle Newton accident

Moments after Benko jumped into the frigid water to rescue the elderly victim CSL Public Security officer Simon-Pierre Canuel received the call on his radio and arrived in less than one minute.  He jumped into the pool as did a Montreal Police officer from station 9.  Off-duty CSL Public Security officer Hugo Perez also arrived on scene and jumped in as well to assist in the rescue.  CSL volunteer Emergency Medical Services volunteer Howard Wong also arrived and began performing CPR with CSL Public Security and Police.  An off-duty EMS member, Kelly Malca, also happened to be passing and stopped to assist with CPR.

Rescuers were then told that there might be a kid in the car, so the same people, plus the firefighters who had just arrived on scene, jumped back into the pool to search the car. They attempted to open the door or break the glass, but neither was successful. It was quickly determined that “the kid” was the teenager who was already being treated by EMS volunteer Joshua Lurie.

Mackle Newton accident

The victim was revived and transported to hospital where he remains in stable condition. En route to hospital, the paramedics radioed back to the scene that the driver confirmed he was alone in the car. A few minutes later, they radioed again that he claimed his wife was with him. So back into the pool they went for a third time, a few of the firefighters going back a few times into the pool, now filled with debris, oil and broken glass (the driver’s window was eventually broken). They did sweeps with their arms of the back seat and both front seats and no other bodies were found.

CSL Public Works crews also arrived on scene to offer assistance.  CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson was on scene and coordinated CSL’s volunteers and professional staff.

The cold and wet police officer, public security officer and firefighters were all given warm blankets and treated for minor injuries.  This was an extraordinary team effort by multiple agencies, volunteers and professionals.

Kudos to the teenage rescuer and an older man who witnessed the incident and intervened immediately. Kudos to our responders: CSL Public Security officers, EMS volunteers, police officers from station 9, the firefighters from stations 78 and 46, the paramedics and Urgences Santé supervisor, fire department chief and everyone on scene who intervened quickly and efficiently.

Later in the evening, Perez attended the CSL Volunteers’ Night Celebration where I called him up on stage to congratulate him for his heroic actions.  I look forward to inviting Marten Benko and all those involved in this incredible incident to a City Council meeting for a formal and heartfelt recognition.  In my capacity as City Councillor responsible for Public Safety my sincere appreciation goes out to each and every one of them.

Glenn J. Nashen congratulating Public Security Officer Hugo Perez

Glenn J. Nashen congratulating Public Security Officer Hugo Perez

Suburban Newspaper’s coverage

Montreal Gazette coverage

Bizarre accident near Cavendish Mall: CJAD

Elderly man crashes car into residential pool (CTV News Montreal)
Car drives into swimming pool in Côte St. Luc (The Gazette)
Man, 86, in hospital after driving car into pool (CBC News Montreal)
Son of crash victim grateful for dramatic rescue (CTV News Montreal)
Un adolescent sauve un octogénaire de la mort (Le Journal de Montréal)
Not acting ‘would haunt me’: teen (The Gazette)