William Henk, a member of Eagan’s code enforcement team, pushed a partially submerged vehicle closer to shore and stayed with the driver until public safety crews arrived.

We know our Eagan staff is always willing to go above and beyond for those who live, work, play, or even pass through our community.

That passion for caring was on full display on May 17 when William Henk, a member of our code enforcement team, witnessed a car careening down an embankment and plunging into a pond near Yankee Doodle Road.

William immediately dialed 911 and reported the event. He then stripped off his boots and pants – knowing they’d weigh him down in the water – clambered down the embankment, and waded into the water where he realized the semi-conscious driver was having a medical emergency. William couldn’t open a door but, because the car was still afloat, he was able to move it to shallower water and then stayed with the driver until Eagan police and fire crews took over. 

Eagan police officers and firefighters administer medical care to the driver.

Three police officers and a fire crew removed their duty belts and waded into the pond. Water had already risen to the driver’s knees, so time was not on their side. The team immediately pushed the vehicle even closer to shore to prevent more rising water and to help gain a better footing; the water was now at their chests and the driver’s stomach. 

Although they feared the car rapidly sinking, rescuers broke the window, allowing them to open the door from the inside, remove the seatbelt, and pull the driver out before the car sank.

Officers and firefighters then carried the man up the hill and began medical care, until he was transported by ambulance to a hospital in stable condition.

So far this year, Eagan’s three-member code enforcement staff has responded to two emergencies. The second incident occurred in June when Craig Swalchick, Senior Code Enforcement Technician, happened to be on site when fireworks were set ablaze inside Hy-Vee. Craig helped people get safely outside until police and fire crews arrived.