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Belterra Park employee rescues driver from floodwaters in Anderson Township

Posted at 2:59 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 19:51:19-05

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Emmett Leopardi was surveying the floodwaters Friday evening to assess whether Belterra Park, where he works, could stay open.

That’s when he noticed a pickup floating in the high water near Four Mile and Kellogg Roads.

Leopardi radioed his manager to see if authorities had been notified.

“I was leaving when he radioed me and said, ‘Go back to the scene to make sure nobody’s there and be their eyes and ears,’” Leopardi said.

Leopardi went back and saw the driver's head just above the water. Leopardi said he didn’t have time to think. He went into the water, pulled the man out and stayed with him until first responders arrived.

“The water was cold,” Leopardi said. “I can attest to that. And yeah, he did appear blue.”

First responders at the scene said the man had hypothermia. He was transported to a local hospital.

Leopardi said he was scared but he didn’t hesitate; he knew he had to get him out of the water.

“I was just kind of singing a song to myself, as silly as that sounds. When I’m scared, I sing songs,” Leopardi said.

Leopardi said he hopes that the man he helped is OK. WCPO reached out to local hospitals to try to find out.

“If somebody sees this, if they can just let me know if he’s OK, I’d appreciate it,” Leopardi said.