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Jacksonville worker credited with saving co-worker’s life

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A Jacksonville Parks and Lakes Department employee is credited with saving a colleague’s life after the man ended up in the lake near Nichols Park while mowing Monday afternoon.

The unidentified worker was mowing along the east side of Morgan Lake, near Holkenbrink Drive, when he got too close to the water and lost control of the lawn mower he was operating, said Jacksonville police Lt. Sean Walker.

The mower turned and landed on top of the worker in the water.

“Another employee was there mowing, but he did not see the accident happen,” Walker said. “However, he looked up and saw the mower upside down in the water and could not see his colleague. He went into the lake, moved the mower and was able to pull it out of the lake.”

It cannot be determined how long the man was in the water.

“The man emerged from the water unconscious and the rescuer began CPR,” Walker said. “It was extremely fortunate that the second employee was there, otherwise things would have turned out very differently.”

When police from Jacksonville and South Jacksonville — along with crews from the Jacksonville Fire Department and LifeStar Ambulance Service — arrived, the second worker was still performing CPR, Walker said.

The employee was taken to Jacksonville Memorial Hospital; Walker said he was not aware of the extent of the man’s injuries or his condition.