Rescue at wastewater plant

A Goshen firefighter, left, dressed in a protective suit, prepares to attach a winch line to a van that was mired Thursday in the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s bio-solids lagoon. Firefighters used a boat to rescue the van’s 46-year-old driver from the pond, and he was taken to a local hospital to be examined.

Emergency responders in hazardous materials gear rescued a work van driver after his vehicle plunged into a bio-waste pit at Goshen’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Thursday.

The van was found half-submerged in the bio-solids lagoon at the facility along West Wilden Avenue when Goshen police and firefighters responded to the scene around noon. Police said firefighters, seen wearing haz-mat suits, used their boat to pull the driver, a 46-year-old man, from the vehicle. The logo on the van identified it as from Painters Supply & Equipment Co., based in Taylor, Michigan.

The man was then taken to Goshen Hospital to be checked by staff.

Goshen Public Works Director Dustin Sailor was not sure Wednesday what the driver was doing on the property, within the fence around the grounds.

Sailor said initial thoughts were the driver was delivering paint for a project that’s currently underway to make significant upgrades at the wastewater plant, but Sailor said he learned the driver wasn’t making any deliveries to the facility.

“Why he was within our fenced-in facility, I do not know,” Sailor said.

He explained that staff on the site saw the man checking his phone in front of a lab, and then other personnel saw him drive by before the van plunged into the pond.

“It’s an unusual situation to be sure,” Sailor said.

He noted the bio-solids lagoon is set to be decommissioned and filled in next year as part of the $19 million upgrade project.

CRASH

A car driven by Robert Schuler, Elkhart, collided with a car driven by Alexia Greathouse, Elkhart, as Greathouse started to change lanes while stopped in traffic on Ind. 120 east of C.R. 17 around 11:20 a.m. Thursday, Elkhart County police said in a news release.

Medical personnel examined Greathouse for neck pain at the scene, and she denied further attention, police said. She was also cited for unsafe lane movement.

Schuler did not report any injuries.

ARRESTS

• Goshen police arrested three boys on charges of battery, disorderly conduct and intimidation after responding to a fight at The Post, 301 E. Lincoln Ave., around 7:35 p.m. Wednesday.

• Goshen police arrested a 16-year-old juvenile on charges of domestic battery and possession of marijuana following a response to an incident in the 1100 block of South Main Street around 3:35 p.m. Wednesday. The juvenile was placed in the Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Center.

DRUG INVESTIGATION

Goshen police reported a controlled substance was found in a vehicle during a traffic stop in the 2000 block of West Wilden Avenue around 10:35 p.m. Wednesday.

FRAUD

Lori Jones, Goshen, reported to Goshen police multiple incidents of credit card fraud at Smokes ++, 4024 Elkhart Road, around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday.

THEFTS

• Matthew Thayer, Goshen, reported to Goshen police his mobile phone was stolen from a home, 114 S. 27th St., around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

• Rebecca Acheson, Milford, reported to Goshen police Wednesday items were stolen from her vehicle while it was parked at a Forest River RV plant, 2422 Century Drive, and fraudulent charges were made to her debit card.

• Tory Miller reported to Elkhart County police between $1,800 and $2,100 in cash was stolen from her purse at Crystal Valley Catering, 14329 U.S. 20, in Middlebury sometime between 4 a.m and 4:50 a.m. Wednesday.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

Tyler Stout, Bristol, reported to Goshen police his vehicle was vandalized at a Keystone RV Co. plant, 3426 Corrie Drive, around 5:05 a.m. Wednesday.

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Aimee Ambrose is a reporter with The Goshen News. She covers courts, police and county government.

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