Man, 89, drowns in freak accident after his car hits a fire hydrant

An 89-year-old man got sucked into a hole under his car and died after he struck a fire hydrant Wednesday morning in Melbourne, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said.

Troopers said after hitting the hydrant, Robert Dreyer stepped out of the car and got pulled under his Mercedes as the water from the broken hydrant gushed out.

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Dreyer crashed at the intersection of Tavistock Drive and Crelford Way.

Pedro Rodriguez was working nearby when he heard the crash.

“We just see that water gushing out and it gets to the point that it’s hitting all those palm trees on the side of the road,” he said. “And my boss yelled at us to bring the car down the road.”

He and other bystanders made their way to the hole where Dreyer was trapped and pulled him out.

Rodriguez believes Dreyer was in the water for three or four minutes.

“I haven’t seen anything like this before,” said FHP Lt. Channing Taylor. “Usually the fire hydrants will break off and they won’t spew water; they have safety valves in place. But if you hit something the right way, the safety doesn’t work.”

Dreyer died at the hospital, troopers said.

The crash remains under investigation.

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