A 66-year-old Tremont City man, pulled from Bass Lake late Wednesday afternoon after the riding mower he was operating apparently tipped over into the water and trapped him, has died.
David Swadener was pronounced dead at Miami Valley Hospital, where he was taken by CareFlight after the accident at Bass Lake Camp Ground, on Hilliard Street, Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Brown said.
Swadener was last seen at about 10 a.m. on the other side of the property, where he had been working with another piece of equipment, Brown said. Three men discovered the mower, overturned in the water, just after 5 p.m. They hooked up a chain to a pick-up truck to flip the mower, they said.
“He could have been there five minutes or five hours - we don’t know,” Brown said. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is to perform an autopsy, he said.
Rescue crews and a medical helicopter were called to the facility just after 5 p.m.
The men who discovered Swadener pulled him to shore as Brown arrived on scene and started CPR. Rescue crews appeared to continue CPR about 45 minutes later.
Swadener was moved to the helicopter waiting nearby.
One of the men who helped with the rescue, Jonathan Slark, assisted with CPR until medics arrived.
Slark, a U.S. Air Force Reserve member who works at the campground, wasn’t sure how long the man had been under water but estimated it could have been some time.
“There was no debris turned up and if he would have gone in any time soon (after the rescue), I think there would have been a lot of debris turned up,” Slark said.
According to Brown, Swadener lived at the campground until recently and did jobs there to help out.
Workers A.J. Evans and Chris Fancett worked with Slark to free the man.
Crews from Bethel Twp. Fire and EMS Department assisted at the scene.