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Swimmer on rescue of driver who crashed into Seattle LA Fitness pool

A car drove into a pool at a North Seattle LA Fitness Aug. 12, 2019. (Amy Clancy, KIRO 7 TV)

When doing laps in a pool, the last thing one probably expects is a car to come crashing through the windows and splash down in the deep end. But that’s what happened at a North Seattle LA Fitness Monday morning. LA Fitness member Noah Schlenk was swimming at the time, and joined the Candy, Mike and Todd Show to discuss how he helped rescue the driver who crashed through the window and interrupted his workout.

“It definitely took at least about five to 10 seconds to really register,” he said. “I was just swimming, and then there’s a huge splash next to me … I looked at the glass and was like, “Okay, this is an actual thing that just happened.”

The 69-year-old driver was reportedly parking his car in the lot just outside the building when he accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the brake, thrusting the car over the curb and into the pool, according to Seattle police.

While there was someone swimming in the lane the car crashed in, that person was able to get out of the way in time. Noah and a fellow swimmer made their way over to the quickly submerging car.

“The guy in the car just looked confused. I don’t know if he didn’t know what to do. I mean, I wouldn’t honestly know what to do in that situation, either,” he said. “We opened the door, water starts pouring in; we looked at the guy and we’re like, ‘You gotta crawl over, you’ve got to get out.”

Smash and splash: Car crashes into pool at North Seattle LA Fitness

The swimmer Noah was with pulled the driver into the back seat, and then they both pulled him out of the car.

“We both grab an arm and we just had to yank him out of the car,” Noah said. While he was being rescued, the man in the car seemed to have one thing on his mind: The whereabouts of his cellphone.

“He starts asking about his cellphone, and we’re like, ‘Uh, you know.’ The car was pretty much submerged at that point. I told him, ‘Let’s get you to safety first. I can go back and get the phone later if it’s possible, or if it’s safe.'”

They took him to the side of the pool, and Noah was actually about to go back to find the cellphone when his fellow swimmer suggested it probably wasn’t a good idea.

What shouldn’t qualify as a second passenger in an HOV lane?

“I get my goggles and I’m about to go in, and the guy that I was with said, ‘It’s not worth the risk, like the phone’s probably drowned at this point. Maybe we should get out of the pool too, because the lights are still on, there’s electricity, etc.'”

They got the man to safety and checked to see if he was alright, which he was. Soon after the police and firefighters arrived and the gym was evacuated.

With the ordeal behind him, KIRO Radio’s Todd Herman asked Noah one pertinent question: “Who plays you in the movie?”

“Definitely not me,” Noah joked.

Listen to The Candy, Mike, and Todd Show weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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