HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Officials are calling for change after another body was pulled from the water at a popular boating spot in Hardin County.
Since Main Street in Saltillo ends in the Tennessee River, officials said many drivers make the mistake of landing in the water.
“It’s a situation that we need to get fixed,” Hardin County Fire Chief Melvin Martin told News 2.
The latest victim, 64-year-old veteran Scott Day of Carroll County, called 911 and pleaded for help before his phone disconnected about 15 seconds later.
“Well I lost him,” a dispatcher is heard saying on the call. “I mean he completely, he’s going, ‘I’m in the Tennessee River, I’m in the Tennessee River, help me.’”
The call has left dispatchers and first responders devastated as officials review footage capturing Day’s car sinking in the Tennessee River.
“If you end up in the water with a vehicle, you don’t have long to get out,” the fire chief explained. “So just, you know, within 45 seconds, he floated and it just sank overall with the current and sank down in about 20 feet of water.”
According to Martin, Day is the fifth body pulled from the same spot since 2005.
“It’s five too many. I work as a fire chief, my divers, it’s tough for us, but just thinking about the families, what they have to go through, that is, it’s terrible,” Martin stated. “I mean, this is our job, but I am tired of pulling bodies out of this.”
An extra stop sign was put in place following the latest drowning, but city officials are looking at additional options like a modified roundabout to prevent such tragedies in the future.