Illinois 911 Agency Begins Inquiry Into Man's Drowning

Authorities investigating whether a suburban 911 dispatcher properly handled the call

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    Henry Laseke, 89, was pronounced dead after his SUV plunged into a retention pond in his Arlington Heights subdivision. Michelle Relerford reports. (Published Thursday, July 25, 2013)

    Authorities say they're investigating whether a suburban Chicago 911 dispatcher properly handled a call from a man who drowned after his SUV plunged into a retention pond.

    Transcripts from Thursday's call by 89-year-old Henry Laseke show the Arlington Heights man urging rescuers to hurry because his vehicle was sinking.

    The dispatcher from the Northwest Central Dispatch System repeatedly tries to calm Laseke, assuring him that help was on the way and asks for information about his SUV. But the veteran dispatcher never asks if he can open a window or if he's able to escape.

    Officials with the agency, which handles 911 calls for 11 communities in Chicago's northwestern suburbs, say the dispatcher remains on the job.

    They say their inquiry "will determine whether all standards and protocols were met."