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Man rescued in sewer crash
A Ceres motorist was ejected into a sewer pond Thursday afternoon after colliding into a telephone pole, and through a chain-link fence that separates the wastewater treatment plant and Morgan Road.

Adam Hale, 34, of Ceres, was rescued by city sewer workers who jumped into action and held his head above the water line. Hale was lying on his right side in the water when they arrived.

Police Lt. Brent Smith said that Hale was driving a 2001 Honda Civic northbound in the 4400 block of Morgan Road at 2:21 p.m. He claims that he was stricken with a sharp stomach pain and veered toward the pole, splintering wood as the car struck the side of it. The car shot through the fence and up the embankment of the percolation pond nearest the road.

Michael Riddell, the city's Wastewater Systems Supervisor, said that one day before the crash the pond was about three feet deeper and that the volume had been transferred to another pond.

"That guy probably would have drowned in it had it still been full," commented Lt. Smith.

At Monday's Ceres City Council meeting City Manager Brad Kilger commended employee Mark Cardenas for jumping into action to hold Hale's head above water while calling 911 for help with the other hand. Other plant employees who jumped into help were Kevin Haley, Rod Morris, Terry Turner, Tommy Mejia, Jim Sharp and Tony Maestas.