Man Rescued From 35-Foot Fall Down Water Well

By Monica Garske and Chris Chan
|  Monday, Mar 11, 2013  |  Updated 11:42 AM PDT
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A man is seriously injured after falling 35 feet into a well near Potrero. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports on the two-hour rescue effort.

A man is seriously injured after falling 35 feet into a well near Potrero. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports on the two-hour rescue effort.

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Fire crews from all over San Diego County rushed to the Potrero community in San Diego’s Mountain Empire area Sunday to rescue a man who had fallen down a 35-foot well.

Jerry Fowler, 42, was hospitalized for head injuries he suffered after falling into his 35-foot home water well.

Fowler was knocked unconscious while trying to repair pipes inside the well at his home on Potrero Circle at around 4:15 p.m.

"They were working on pulling the pipes out of the well and the 2x4's broke and he fell straight through," said the victim's wife Jessica Fowler.

Rescue crews set-up a tripod above the well and lowered a firefighter into the hole to rescue Fowler and pulled him free around 6:18 p.m..

Rescue teams say Fowler was unconscious at first but then later, was able to communicate with them.

At one point during the "confined space" rescue mission, Cal Fire crews had to drop a pump down into the well, fearing ground water would rise up and possibly drown the victim.

"That's always a concern in this type of rescue mission,"  Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler said. "They had a lot of moisture down at the bottom of the well."

After two hours at the bottom of the well Fowler was finally pulled out.

He was immediately put on a gurney and provided fluids then taken to Sharp Hospital.

His wife Jessica was in tears, distraught but relieved to see medics tending to her husband.

"I lost it. I didn't look. I couldn't watch," she said. "I couldn't see him, he was all banged up."

As of Monday, Fowler remained hospitalized in critical condition, Sharp Hospital told NBC 7.

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