Man trying to save dog dies after falling into California Aqueduct

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The California Aqueduct is shown where Interstate 15 crosses over it. (Credit: Google Maps)

HESPERIA, Calif. – A Victorville man died on Valentine’s Day after a walk with his wife during which he fell into the California Aqueduct while trying to save one of the couple’s dogs, the sheriff’s department said.

A dispatcher received a call just before 1 p.m. Tuesday reporting that the 58-year-old victim had fallen into the aqueduct between Yucca Terrace Drive and Amargosa Road in Hesperia, KTLA reported.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, their fire department and Hesperia school police responded.

The victim, identified as Lucas Hermenegildo, was pulled from the water unresponsive, KTLA reported.

First responders performed CPR, and then Hermenegildo was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the sheriff’s department.

Hermenegildo and his wife had been walking their three dogs when one of the pets fell into the aqueduct, which is lined in concrete and filled with swiftly moving water. The victim was trying to save the dog when he lost his footing and fell in, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Hermenegildo was in the water for 10 to 15 minutes before he was pulled out. His dog was able to get out and survived uninjured.

The sheriff’s department urged people to use caution when walking near the aqueduct, keeping distance from the edge.

“The Hesperia Sheriff’s Station wants to remind citizens that even though the water on the surface of the aqueduct appears calm and slow moving, there is an undertow that is very fast moving and can pull a person under,” the sheriff’s department stated.