An elderly man pulled from an SUV that plunged into an Arlington Heights retention pond early Thursday has died.
Henry Laseke, 89, was pronounced dead at 10 a.m. at Northwest Community Hospital, officials said.
Rescue workers were called to the 1500 block of Courtland in the northwest suburb at 7:15 a.m. for an active water rescue. The vehicle hit an electrical transformer and a pillar holding up a rear porch before going into the pond, Arlington Heights Police Cmdr. Michael Miljan said.
"All of a sudden I heard this terrible bang and grinding, and my porch started to fall forward," neighbor Kaye Sullivan said.
Neighbor Audrey Hafer said Laseke appeared to be alert as the SUV was floating for a time in the pond.
"He was awake," Hafer said. "Some neighbors went in the pond. He was on the phone. I'm sure he was calling 911 too."
A neighbor and a first-responding police officer initially tried to go into the pond to rescue Laseke, but they were unsuccessful. A dive unit ultimately removed him from the car.
It's not yet clear what caused the crash.
Neighbors said Laseke was headed back home from breakfast when the incident occurred.
"I waved to him and a minute later his car goes bolting and ends up in the middle of the pond," Hafer said.
Officers remained at the scene Thursday to investigate.