Clinton River flooding a factor in man's death; his family blames first responders
UTICA, Mich. (FOX 2) - Flooding in Utica is said to be a factor in a man's death last weekend. His family now thinks that first responders could have done more.
An officer from the Utica Police Department responded to a 911 call for a person who was not breathing on Davis Street around 11 p.m. on Saturday.
The Utica Fire Department was also called to the scene but when the police and fire arrived to different locations on Davis Street, they were confronted with flooding. But initially, only the police officer went in search of the victim.
When Officer Barry Androdee arrived to the house, the family was giving the 59-year-old victim CPR.
"He assessed the situation assisted the family to render care," said Chief Sean Coady, Utica police.
The victim was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police are calling this tragedy a weather-related incident.
"It sounds like he might have been in the vehicle that stalled and he might have made efforts to move that vehicle and push it out of the water," said Coady.
FOX 2: "At that point, he collapsed?"
"That's our understanding," Coady said.
The Utica Fire Department said when it arrived at the location, it found themselves separated from the patient by the overflowed Clinton River. The Incident Commander recognized the hazards of the flood, including submerged electrical utilities.
Clinton River flooding played a role in death of man, officials say.
The Local Swift Water Rescue Team was called to the scene and together with the Utica Fire Department, gained access to the patient and continued rescue efforts until the patient was transferred to a local hospital, where he passed away.
But the police chief says if you live in an area that's prone to flooding, always think safety first.
"Prior to the weather event taking place, try to get yourself to a safe place," Coady said. "If there is a weather issue that could potentially put you in harm's way or delay a response from emergency responders my suggestion is to move to a safer place."
The Utica Fire Department released this statement:
"On the evening of January 11, 2020 in the 44000 block of Davis Street the Utica Fire Department responded to a report of a man down of unknown causes.
"The UFD arrived at the location and found themselves separated from the patient by the overflowed Clinton River. At this time they were advised that CPR was in progress. Additional resources were called to the scene. The Incident Commander recognized the hazards of the flood, including moving water of varying depth, biohazards, and submerged electrical utilities.
"The Local swift water rescue team was called to the scene and together with the Utica Fire Department gained access to the patient and continued rescue effort until the patient was transferred to a local hospital where the patient eventually succumbed to his medical condition.
"The Utica Fire Department expresses their deepest condolences to the family."
Chief Kevin Wilseck
Utica Fire Department