Waterport teen rescues man who drove into Lake Ontario

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Hayden London is pictured today at Frank’s Auto in Albion, where he has a part-time job.

BARKER – A Waterport teen went fishing with three friends at Golden State Park in Barker on Thursday and likely saved the life of a man who drove into the lake.

Hayden London, 17, and his friends – Alex Plummer, Josh Tombari and Matt Scroger – were fishing by the inlet at the state park. They heard an engine roar and then a big splash in the water.

They ran to the lake and saw a green van pointed down in the water. The front was submerged. Another man was standing near the shore and told the teens a man was inside the van.

London and Plummer each grabbed big rocks. London took off his shirt and dove in the water. He saw a man who appeared to be elderly inside, hitting at the window trying to get out.

London smashed the driver’s window with a rock. Water came rushing inside the van, London recounted today. London put his shirt on the window, to protect the man from the broken glass. London and Plummer then pulled the man out of the van.

“He did a damn fine job,” Lt. Patrick Rindsleisch of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department said about London.

The rescued man seemed to be OK at the scene but was taken by ambulance for observation. Rindsleisch declined to release the man’s name, citing privacy concerns.

But he said London “helped the guy immensely” in a remote area of the Niagara County.

London is a junior a Lyndonville Central School. He said he is grateful the man was saved from the sinking vehicle.

“At first we were froze because we didn’t know what to do,” he said. “We could see he was trying to get out. I didn’t want to watch someone die.”