Hero tells how he rescued family trapped in car by rising waters

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We spoke with the Lake County Deputy Coroner and the suburban family he helped rescue as flood waters from Monday's storms surrounded their car. (WLS)

Eyewitness News spoke with the Lake County Deputy Coroner and the suburban family he helped rescue as flood waters from Monday's storms surrounded their car.

The Le family's car it got stuck Monday under a bridge in suburban Lake Bluff on Route 41. It was a normal day Wednesday at the Le family business Best Nails, a six-year-old Waukegan salon. But the buzz among customers and employees revolves around the proprietor and his family's encounter with the power of water Monday night.

"We were scared," said Danny Le, father.

At about 8 p.m. Monday night, Danny Le was driving his wife, son, sister and mother- in-law southbound to home after closing up shop. He says the driving rain that night prevented him from seeing how Route 41 was flooded just north of Route 176.

"I don't even see clear, you know, just followed the cars in front," said Danny Le.

Water quickly filled the car to mid-shin, but outside, it was above the door handles. Four-year-old Daniel was screaming, but no one was making a move to get out.

"We opened the door and water poured in," said Anna Le, mother.

At about the same time, Lake County Deputy Coroner Jason Patt just happened upon the scene driving northbound. He walked the median into the water and urged the family to leave their car but they would not.

"I finally convinced them to come out. They handed the child, and the mother came with. Walked them over to my truck, put them in, turned on the heat because they were cold. The next female came out, and I helped the next female out, and then the male driver," said Officer Patt.

Eventually the law-enforcement officer with the help of Lake Bluff police convinced the family to leave the car as the water was rising.

Fifteen minutes later, everyone was safe in Officer Patt's vehicle. And the family matriarch can only express in Vietnamese the lesson she learned that night, saying "The next time we see water like that we will stop. Don't ever try to pass through water like that!"

Related Topics:
herowater rescueflash floodingLake Bluff
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