24-year-old Anthony Burgess Jr. died saving his 3-year-old baby girl after their car rolled back into a retention pond at an apartment complex in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The father reportedly stopped by a nearby apartment complex on Sunday to speak with a friend according to witnesses. He’d parked the vehicle with it running and stepped out. His daughter tried following him, but he told her to get back into the car.
The Indianapolis Fire Department officials report that the toddler accidentally hit the gear while climbing across the seat and the car backed into the pond.
Witnesses told authorities the father and a friend jumped into the water right away and pulled the 3-year-old from inside the car, getting her to safety. Burgess nor his friend knew how to swim, WXIN reported.
“She wasn’t breathing that much,” an anonymous bystander told News4. “But, when I turned her to the side, some of the water came out of her mouth.”
Firefighters arrived on scene two minutes after receiving a call and discovered that Burgess’s daughter had been pulled to safety, but the father still remained submerged in the pond. He was pulled out of the water by divers after reportedly being in there for 19 minutes. The 24-year-old was given CPR and reportedly in critical condition. He later died from his injuries Sunday night at St. Vincent’s hospital.
The 3-year-old was taken to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in stable condition and is expected to be transported out of intensive care.