Despite efforts of Winter Haven firefighters, man dies in watery crash

Last Updated: Saturday, December 02, 2017, 8:20 PM EST

Despite Winter Haven firefighters rescuing a man from a vehicle that went into a retention pond Saturday morning, the man died at an area hospital.

  • Man dies despite Winter Haven firefighters pulling him from submerged vehicle
  • Crash happened near Lucerne Park Rd and Hwy 27
  • Hakeem McGhee, 26, pulled out of the car

According to Winter Haven Fire officials, 26-year old Hakeem McGhee of Winter Haven succumbed to his injuries from the crash and died Saturday afternoon.  

Firefighters responded to the crash near Lucerne Park Rd and Hwy 27 just after 6 a.m. to find a vehicle almost completely submerged in a retention pond off the roadway.

Lt. Justin Riner and firefighter Jon Hinkle jumped into the 20 ft deep water where the vehicle was quickly continuing to submerge. With only the trunk lid visible on the surface,  Lt. Riner was able to punch the back window out of the car and kick the glass away in order to pull McGhee out of the car. 

McGhee was pulled out of the water and Lt Medic Kyle Miller and paramedic Marty Johnson administered life-saving care. Meanwhile, Riner and Hinkle both went back into the water to ensure there were no other occupants in the vehicle. 

McGhee was then flown to Lakeland Regional Health but later died.