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1 Killed, 3 Swim To Safety After Car Crashes Into Retention Pond

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Adam Johnson (Family Photo)

Adam Johnson (Family Photo)

Updated 03/11/13 – 11:37 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A Bolingbrook man was killed early Monday when a car plunged into a retention pond in southwest suburban Romeoville early Monday.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, around 12:30 a.m., a Pontiac Grand Prix crashed into a retention pond as it was driving around a curve in the road along the edge of the pond near the intersection of Lakeview Drive and Remington Boulevard.

The driver, 28-year-old Adam Johnson, was pronounced dead after he was pulled from the water and taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.

Johnson’s parents were too heartbroken to speak on camera. They said he had just moved back home from Oklahoma last week. He worked as a welder.

The Plainfield High School graduate and three of his friends had left a bowling alley in Romeoville late Sunday night, and the owner of the car was unable to drive, so Johnson got behind the wheel.

Police said fog, speed, or alcohol might have been factors in the crash. Johnson drove up to the T-intersection of Lakeview Drive and Remington Boulevard and, instead of turning or stopping at the end of Lakeview, he kept going, and ended up in the pond, and being submerged in 14 feet of murky water.

One man was killed, but three others swam to safety, after this car crashed into a retention pond in Romeoville on March 11, 2013. (Credit: CBS)

One man was killed, but three others swam to safety, after this car crashed into a retention pond in Romeoville on March 11, 2013. (Credit: CBS)

His three friends managed to escape the car and swim to safety, but the muddy water made it difficult for divers to find Johnson.

Police said his friends also could not call for help right away.

“There was a response delay,” Romeoville Police Cmdr. Ken Kroll said. “They were finding the people that escaped the car, finding some way to make a phone call. Whether or not they had cell phones at this point, the cell phones were likely submerged, ineffective. So the driver and the vehicle were under water for quite a while.”

Johnson’s parents said, what’s eerie about the accident, is that he nearly drowned when he was 3 years old, while playing in a neighbor’s pool. He was in a coma with brain damage after that, but recovered.

An autopsy was set for Monday afternoon.

It was the second time since Saturday that a car has sunk into an area pond, and both times the driver died in the crash.

On Saturday, 20-year-old Emory Diaz Sepulveda died when her car went off the Interstate 88 ramp at Eola Road in Aurora, and veered into a retention pond. Three of her passengers, including two children, were rescued, but it took nearly seven hours for divers to find her body in the city water.