Wedding guests attempt rescue after man's SUV plunges into water

The bystanders pulled the man from his sinking vehicle and started performing CPR, but he later died after being transported to a medical facility


Taylor Hartz
Hartford Courant

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. — A 76-year-old man died when his SUV plunged into the water at the Saybrook Point Marina in Old Saybrook Saturday night, despite bystanders’ heroic efforts to rescue him, police said.

Guests at a nearby wedding and staff from the Saybrook Point Inn saw a car drive into the water at about 10:12 p.m. Saturday and dove into the water to rescue the driver, according to the Old Saybrook Police Department.

Shortly after being pulled from the water, Steven Mark Wahle, of Old Saybrook, was taken to Middlesex Medical Center Shoreline in Westbrook where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Shortly after being pulled from the water, Steven Mark Wahle, of Old Saybrook, was taken to Middlesex Medical Center Shoreline in Westbrook where he was pronounced dead, police said. (Photo/Old Saybrook Police Department/Tribune News Service)

The bystanders were able to pull the man out of his sinking vehicle, which went into the water behind the Saybrook Point Inn Resort and Marina at 2 Bridge St., and start CPR on the driver, police said.

Shortly after being pulled from the water, Steven Mark Wahle, of Old Saybrook, was taken to Middlesex Medical Center Shoreline in Westbrook where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The Guilford Fire Department’s Dive Team also went into the water to scope out the submerged vehicle and determined that Wahle, the driver, was the only person in the vehicle, police said.

“The Department extends its condolences to Mr. Wahle’s family and friends,” said Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael A. Spera in a statement. “I commend the brave efforts of the citizen responders who risked their own lives, in attempt to save the life of a complete stranger.”

Wahle’s vehicle was pulled from the water and was in police custody as an investigation was ongoing, police said.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the Old Saybrook Police Department at 860-395-3142.

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©2022 Hartford Courant. 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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