Man Rescued After Driving Into Vista Lake

Incident Happened Near Antigua Drive and Shadowridge Road

A North County man was taken to the hospital Wednesday evening after he drove his SUV into a small lake in Vista.

The incident happened at a lake off of Antigua Drive and Shadowridge Road in southwestern Vista, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Kelvin Afoa was fishing at the water's edge when the SUV came barreling through. As he describes it, the incident looked like something out of "The Dukes of Hazard."

"I see a car come flying through the bushes, through trees actually... It ended up flipping a couple of times on the side of the lake then ended up in the pond," said Afoa.

According to witnesses, the 65-year-old man, who was identified by deputies as Gary Walker, was driving his SUV the wrong way on Shadowridge Road and into oncoming traffic. One after another, three cars swerved to get out of his way. The SUV clipped a tan sedan and went through some brush and then 40 feet down an embankment before becoming submerged in the pond.

"It was crazy," said Afoa. "I thought maybe they were filming a movie up here and didn't tell me about it."

Within minutes of the crash, rescue crews arrived on the scene. Deputies said the man was able to get out of his partially-submerged SUV through its sunroof as crews attempted to rescue him.

During the rescue, crews were having difficulty securing the injured man because of his large size. Once rescue crews were able to secure the man, they placed him onto a floating stretcher, pulled him from the water into an air ambulance. He was taken to Palomar Hospital in Escondido for a medical evaluation.

There was no word on the man's condition, but he was not coherent when rescuers reached him. The man knew his name but did not know where he was and did not remember the event.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances which led to the crash.

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