Man drowns trying to rescue dog after crashing into pond near Novato

Pacheco Pond

A man has drowned after he tried to rescue a dog but crashed his car into a pond near Novato, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said that a man and woman were visiting Pacheco Pond in Bel Marin Keys about 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in an unincorporated area of Novato.

As the man was exiting the parking lot and making a left turn onto Bel Marin Keys Boulevard he, for reasons still under investigation, lost control of his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, the CHP said. His truck circled 180 degrees and traveled off of the roadway and into Pacheco Pond.

The man and the woman were both able to exit the truck through a window before it sank, the CHP said.

According to witness statements, the man saw his dog swimming away from the truck and he jumped back in the water to try and rescue it.

Shortly after he got back into the water, the man was seen submerging below the surface of the pond, the CHP said.

The woman said that the man could not swim, which prompted several good Samaritans to enter the water. Despite their efforts, the CHP said, they were unable to locate him in the murky water.

After a lengthy search by the dive team, both the man and the dog were recovered from the water and pronounced dead a short time later, the CHP said. The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.