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Man, 75, Rescued from sinkhole in Apple Valley

The hole was the result of a faulty septic system.

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( – Emergency crews rescued 75-year-old Dennis Love, a resident of Apple Valley, from a sinkhole Sunday afternoon.

It happened on October 15, 2017, at 2:22 p.m., when dispatch received reports of a man trapped inside a well at a residential property in the 21200 block of Zuni Road.

Deputies arrived and found two Good Samaritans lying in the front yard with their arms extended in an approximately three-foot-wide sinkhole attempting to rescue their neighbor.

“The neighbors attempted to pull the trapped man up, but could not free him. The top of the victim’s head was approximately three to four feet below ground and he was sinking into the water. The ground around the hole was unstable and continued to give way raining dirt, rocks and other yard debris down onto the victim,” Sheriff’s officials said in a press release.

A faulty septic system is what caused the sink-hole, which 6-8 feet down into the hole was water, and below the surface of the water the hole extended several more feet down.

Deputies Tommy Dickey, Tyler McGee, Bob Smith, Jasen Malocco and Sergeant Jeff Allison quickly formulated a plan to secure the male from slipping further into the hole, by utilizing throw rope from their patrol cars.

Emergency Medical Technician’s (EMT) were on scene evaluating the victim when suddenly the earth near the opening gave way and one of the EMTs fell into the hole. His fall was only stopped through the quick actions of Deputy Dickey who grabbed the EMT’s belt and pulled him to safety, officials said.

After strenuous efforts by all the involved parties, the victim was safely removed from the hole and treated at the scene by the EMT’s.

“The Sheriff’s Department commends the neighbors who gave no thought for their personal safety to aid the victim. This incident serves as a reminder to periodically check residential systems for proper function and maintenance,” the department said in a statement.

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