• Winchendon first responders rescue man from sinking car

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    WINCHENDON, Mass. - A man is alive after crashing his car through a pond, thanks to the help of the Winchendon Fire Department and a plow driver who was at the right place at the right time. 

    The quick-thinking plow driver called 911 after watching a man drive his car off the road and into a pond in Winchendon. 

    According to the department's Facebook page, they received the call around 4:00 Sunday morning about a car that drove onto and crashed through Hunts Pond off of Spring Street.

    "He seen the accident, he seen the car go in the water, and he came down here and called 911 at the same time," said deputy fire chief Ricci Ruschioni.

    Chief Ruschioni was one of the first to answer the call - springing out of bed and rushing to the scene still in his pajamas. 

    When officers arrived on scene, they found a car in the water - with a person still in it.

    The driver was able to escape the vehicle and was sitting on the roof.

    "The guy was still in the vehicle and trapped, I live less than a quarter mile away, I arrived on the scene and the kid had just self-ejected and was sitting on the roof," said Chief Ruschioni.

    The car was about 10 feet from shore, and was sinking into an estimated eight to 10 feet of water.

    Police officers and firefighters were waiting for the proper equipment to help pull the man from the water, but quickly realized they wouldn't have enough time.

    Instead, they threw a rope to the man and had him tie it around himself. 

    "We threw the rope around the guy, had him tie it around his waist - it was only about 10 feet but it's about 7 or 8 feet of water - and tied it around his waist and all of us, police, fire, DPW, pulled him right out of the water and fortunately he was safe," said Chief Ruschioni.

    And thanks for the help of a few officers, firefighters, and a public works crewman, they pulled the man out of the water safely - unhurt.

    First responders say the man wouldn't have stood a chance if that plow driver hadn't looked up to see the action from the church parking lot across the pond. 

    "With exposure to water like that, the water's only about 40 degrees, you're talking about 5 minutes with exposure like that, would have been in severe hypothermia," said Chief Ruschioni. "Like I said, would have been a lot worse. 

    After saving the man, they were also able to pull the vehicle out of the water. 

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