Emergency response after minivan landed in retention pond under review

(Photo supplied/ABC 57 News)

An investigation into how a 9-1-1 operator handled the emergency call about the minivan in the pond is currently underway.

The executive director of St. Joseph County 911 released a statement to 95-3 MNC after multiple inquiries regarding the response.

ABC 57 News reports sources as saying the dispatcher first called the Clay Fire Department about the submerged vehicle, even though the crash was in Mishawaka.

There are questions also about a possible delay in mobilizing the South Bend Fire Department’s dive team to the scene. According to the statement, there is an open investigation being conducted by the FACT unit as well as an internal investigation to determine if we can respond quicker and more accurately.

The review will also include analysis of whether any disciplinary action is in order.

Officials say the woman missed a curve on an icy road just before that crash.

31-year-old Brooke Natalie Kleven and her 3-month-old daughter, Hendrix Kleven, both remained in critical condition following the New Year’s Eve crash.

But the Granger woman’s 4-year-old old son, James Kleven, and her 2-year-old daughter, Natalie Kleven, died at a local hospital.

The full statement:

To: All media outlets

From: Raymond Schultz, Executive Director PSAP

Re: Crash on University Dr.

We are making this statement on behalf of St. Joseph County and its employees, and particularly those in the 911 dispatch center.

First, we extend our deepest sympathy to the entire family; we cannot imagine at all the extent of this loss.  We are praying for a full recovery for the survivors.

Secondly, as there have been several inquiries regarding the events leading to this tragedy, we wish to provide an accurate account of events with the understanding that we will be providing details as we are able to. We are analyzing all the information available to us currently.

There is an open investigation into this matter being conducted by the FACT unit.  We are cooperating fully with that investigation.  As stated, we will provide additional details as we are able to.

We are conducting our own investigation to determine if we can respond quicker and more accurately; we will review procedures to make sure we are as helpful as we can be during emergency calls.  Our review will also include analysis of whether any disciplinary action is in order under these circumstances. 

Finally, we want to express how sorry we are to the family.  We all wish this tragedy could have been avoided. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Raymond Schultz

Executive Director


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