Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart County News-Herald
On March 3 at approximately 2 p.m., Hart County Emergency Management and Hart County Search & Rescue received a call of a vehicle submerged in water over the roadway on Highway 218 in Hardyville near LeGrande Elementary School.
Richard Johnson, age 84 of Hart County, was the driver of the Ford Fusion vehicle.
According to Deputy Emergency Management Director Curtis McDaniel, there were multiple barriers and warning signs in place from Seymour Bridge near LeGrande School and heading east, warning drivers of the flooded road condition. However, Johnson continued to drive around those barriers.
“Where the water was at, it was approximately eight-feet,” McDaniel said. “…He hit the water, and when he hit the water, a call was made to dispatch that there was a vehicle in the water, a call made by him. When the car started floating, the car started to leave the surface of the roadway and drift over the surface into a deeper pool of water where it came to rest.”
The car then became submerged in water.
“When the car had gone under, he had actually gotten out of the car,” McDaniel said. “…When the Rescue Squad got there…we found the top of his back and got him in the boat, and got him back over to the bank to the ambulance. CPR was immediately started on him. They were able to regain a pulse. EMS rushed him to Caverna (Hospital) where he was stat flighted to UofL Hospital where he passed away from failed resuscitation later on that evening.”
Those responding to the scene of the accident included Hart County Emergency Management, Hart County Search and Rescue Squad, Horse Cave Fire Department, Hardyville Fire Department, Linwood Fire Department, Hart County Sheriff’s Department, Hart County EMS, North Metcalfe Fire Department, and Barren County Search and Rescue Dive Team to assist with the recovery of the car.