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Apple Valley Man Rescued from Highly Unstable Sinkhole

Apple Valley Man Rescued from Highly Unstable Sinkhole

APPLE VALLEY – A 75-year-old Apple Valley man may have lost his life if it was not for the heroic efforts of neighbors, deputies, emergency technicians, and firefighters on Sunday afternoon.  At around 2:22 p.m. dispatchers received the report of the elderly man, later identified as Dennis Love trapped in a well at a home in the 21200 block of Zuni Road in the Town of Apple Valley.

Multiple deputies rushed to the scene in an attempt to rescue the man who was trapped in the 6-8-foot foot unstable hole caused by a faulty septic system. When they arrived they found two male neighbors lying in the front yard of the home attempting to reach Mr. Love through the approximately 3’ wide sinkhole. The neighbors told authorities they arrived at the home after hearing their neighbors calls for help. The men attempted to pull Mr. Love from the hole, where his head was only around 3’-4’ below ground level, but he continued to sink deeper into the water.

The unstable ground, which dropped loose dirt, rocks, and debris in the hole and onto the victim made rescue difficult. Four deputies and a Sergeant carefully planned a way to stop the slippage of the man, who was apparently sinking further into the hole. The deputies and sergeant attempted to throw ropes that were secured to their patrol vehicles in toward the victim so that they can be looped under his arms. The emergency medical technicians continued to evaluate the victim near the mouth of the hole until the earth surrounding the hole gave way nearly sending one of the technicians into the hole. A deputy was able to grab the EMT’s belt in order to pull him to safety.

 

Mr. Love was secured by the throw rope, and the deputies and good Samaritans attempted to pull him from the hole. The attempt did not work and more debris fell onto the exhausted victim. Advanced equipment was requested from the Apple Valley Fire Department. When they arrived, ladders were used in order to stabilize the area surrounding the hole as the victim was secured to a harness. A ladder was sent down into the hold and the victim was able to climb up the ladder to safety at around 2:45 p.m.  Mr. Love was treated at the scene by Emergency medical technicians and transported to St. Mary’s Hospital for minor injuries. 

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Staff Writer

This article was written by a staff member of the 24/7 Headline News Organization

Image Sources:

  • Apple Valley Police File Photo: 24/7 Headline News File Photo
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