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Neighbor rescues elderly man who fell into Lake Clarke Shores canal

Posted at 12:39 PM, Jul 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-10 10:15:10-04

A 90-year-old man is recovering in the hospital after nearly drowning after falling into a Lake Clarke Shores canal Sunday morning.

Thanks to a couple of quick-thinking neighbors, he's expected to be survive.

On Sunday around 11:14 a.m., Belva Kotthaus says her husband, Willard, was out back when he fell into canal.


"I looked out and saw him going into the water," says Kotthaus.

Her next door neighbor, Jerry Vasallo, was the first person to arrive and help in the rescue.

He immediately jumped in, and with the help of another neighbor, brought Willard onto dry land.

"I got him on top of the dock and then paramedics showed up," says Vasallo.

Vasallo said his heroic actions are no big deal.

"I already told the cops that it's no big deal. What are you going to do? It's your neighbor," says Vasallo.

Belva cannot thank her neighbors enough.

"They all helped, and we got him to the hospital and he's coming as well as can be expected," said Kotthaus.

She says Willard is recovering.

"Hopefully he's going to be OK," said Kotthaus.