Dad thankful to officers who rescued daughter from pond

Tribune reporter

A father whose 14-year-old daughter was rescued after a car plunged into an Aurora retention pond Saturday said Monday that it "is a miracle she's alive."

About 7:30 p.m. Saturday, his daughter was riding in car that went into a pond off the eastbound exit ramp of Interstate 88, state police said.

Several officers assigned to the Aurora gang and special operations units were in the area and rushed to the scene, said the girl's father, Steven Prosser.

Prosser's ex-wife, who was in the car, swam through a window to safety, but her daughter was trapped inside, he said. The girl's mother tried to get her out but was unsuccessful, he said. Prosser declined to give the name of his daughter or ex-wife, saying he wanted to protect their privacy.

"Then the officers brushed right pass her to get my daughter out," Prosser said in a phone interview. "Her mother said it was as if a herd of elephants came by."

Prosser said the officers and fire personnel searched for the girl for about 20 minutes until they found her and administered CPR.

"They saved my daughter's life. They would not give up. Twenty-five minutes is a long time, but they kept fighting," Prosser said. "Now my daughter is fighting."

The girl is in intensive care at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where doctors told him it probably helped that the water was frigid. Her condition has stabilized, but she is unconscious, Prosser said.

"She's tough and she's strong — and those are two attributes I'm hoping will get her through this," Prosser said.

A woman who was also a passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. She was identified as Emory Diaz Sepulveda, 20, of Aurora, DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said.

Divers searched the pond for hours for Diaz and found her body about 3 a.m. Sunday, according to police and the coroner's office.

"My ex-wife has a lot of bumps and bruises physically, and emotionally she's a wreck," Prosser said. "And my daughter, I'm not through the woods with her yet."

Prosser said that before his daughter was transferred to Lutheran General, the officers who were involved in the rescue circled around her and said a prayer.

"I'm so grateful for them. I personally shook everyone's hand and gave them a hug," Prosser said.

Twitter @neacynewslady

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