Round Lake Park police and divers from the Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District rescued a man Thursday morning after he fell asleep behind the wheel of his minivan and drove it into the waters of Round Lake.
Officers called to the area of 203 E. Lake Shore Drive at about 7:40 a.m. found the 2017 Dodge van partially submerged in the lake, with a man in the front driver's seat. An officer went into the water and found the man conscious in the slowly sinking van but was not able to pull him out, police said.
The officer remained with the driver, identified as a 38-year-old Round Lake Park resident, until fire district divers arrived minutes later and pulled him from the vehicle. He was taken to Advocate Condell Hospital in Libertyville and is expected to fully recover.
The officer who went into the water was checked on the scene for injuries and hypothermia, then released.
Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said the driver told officers he had just completed an 18-hour shift as a limousine driver in Chicago. His last recollection was waking up in the van after it went into the lake.
Within several minutes of the driver's removal the van's front compartment completely submerged.
"I believe the quick coordinated response by police and fire saved this gentleman's life," Filenko said. "I commend our officer for his immediate response with no hesitation entering the water in an attempt to render aide."