DEL CITY — A van sank into Eagle Lake Thursday afternoon, just minutes after a 2-year-old boy inside was pulled to safety by his grandfather.
About 2:45 p.m., Deshawn Robison, 2, and grandfather Tommy Albertson, 50, of Del City, were at the lake on E Reno near Bryant Ave., feeding ducks. When Albertson’s back was turned while getting more bread, Deshawn climbed into the van parked behind them, accidentally shifting it into gear. The van moved toward the lake, he said.
Albertson pulled his grandson from the van minutes before it sank, nose first, into the water.
“It was gone. There was nothing I could do. I tried to catch it,” Albertson said.
The momentum of the van propelled the vehicle into deep water by the time he reached the driver’s side window, which was rolled down, he said.
Both of them made it back to the shore unharmed. They were checked by paramedics at the scene, but neither was hospitalized.
Albertson stood on the lake’s shore — dripping wet — and recounted the incident to reporters and first responders at the scene. He still appeared panicked when telling the story.
Stacy Henderson was at the lake with her three children when they looked up and saw the van rolling into the water and Albertson running after it.
When she realized there was a child inside, “the mommy adrenaline immediately kicked in,” she said.
“Truly, truly it’s a miracle that he got him out when he did,” Henderson said.
“I was scared to death,” Albertson said. “I was scared, but it turned out great.”
“The van’s not important,” he said.
Firefighters raced to the lake with boats when the call came out, but everyone had made it to safety by the time they arrived on the scene, Del City fire Maj. Brandon Pursell said. With the assistance of Oklahoma City fire crews, the van was pulled from the water about 5:30 p.m., he said.
The vehicle was about 50 feet from the shoreline in 16 feet of water when it was recovered from Eagle Lake, he said.
Eagle Lake was formerly a privately owned body of water used primarily for water-skiing, Pursell said. The property was purchased by the city more than a decade ago.
“It’s not something I would say would be ideal for swimming. About four feet out, five feet out, it’s just a drop to water over your head,” Pursell said.
Deshawn never cried before, during or after the brush with danger, Albertson said. As firefighters searched for the vehicle in the lake, Deshawn sat on a blanket enjoying a sucker, unfazed by the incident. His biggest concern was still getting the ducks fed.