Landscape worker almost drowns in southwest Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is investigating a near-drowning that happened just after noon on Friday in southwest Fort Wayne.

Conservation officers said Robert Houser Jr., 26, of Fort Wayne, an employee of a landscaping company, was mowing grass in the West Chester Lakes subdivision.

Investigators said Houser was operating a riding lawnmower near the edge of a retention pond in the subdivision when the mower slid down the embankment and into the water, pinning Houser underneath it and under the water.

Officers said co-workers discovered Houser, freed him from underneath the mower, started CPR and called 911. Firefighters then arrived on the scene and took over the rescue effort.

Medics took Houser to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition.

It is not clear how long Houser was under the water. provides commenting on many stories to allow for constructive discussion. In order to comment, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms and Conditions. Anyone violating these terms, including the use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinion of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, flag it so our moderators can review.

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