LAKELAND (FOX 13) - The Polk County Sheriff's Office dive team recovered the body of a retired PCSO civilian employee whose truck slid into a lake and became completely submerged Wednesday afternoon.
The driver, 86-year-old Charles Custer, was apparently awake and talking to witnesses as they yelled at him to get out through his window, which was partially lowered. PCSO said Custer wasn't able to get out of his seatbelt before the truck sank.
Witnesses called 911 around 3:45 p.m. when they saw Custer's truck go into a filled-in phosphate pit in Saddle Creek Park, off Morgan Combee Road.
Polk County Fire Rescue first responders Cody Bentz and Cimberly Harris were first on the scene and jumped in to try and rescue Custer. PCSO Deputy Josh Ringdahl also jumped into the water, but they were unable to locate the truck.
The PCSO Dive Team recovered the truck, which was about 30 feet underwater, with Custer's body inside.
Custer was employed by PCSO as a civilian in Court Security from 1988 until he retired in 1999.
Video courtesy Polk Fire Rescue.