Little Leo doing well after pipe rescue on July Fourth

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – What a relief a couple of words can bring when it feels like your whole world is ending.

“We first got him out, he looked at me,” said Daniel Hassebrock. “Hey daddy!”

It’s still not clear how his son, Leo fell down a well pipe on the Fourth of July. Reporters tried to ask what the family was doing just before it happened, and the family’s attorney stopped them from answering.

He added the family isn’t sure if they will file any kind of lawsuit.

We do know Leo looks to be doing as well as a 5-year-old boy can be.

Tuesday, wearing a red plastic helmet, he was running and jumping around an Evansville Fire station giving high-fives to the rescuers who saved his life.

The water well pipe he fell into near One Life Church at the Lloyd Expressway and Fulton Ave. is now welded shut.

It is easy to laugh and feel good about it now, but Hassebrock and his wife, Dianna were as panicked as parents could be while their little Leo was suck 30 feet down.

“That was the worst time of my life,” he said. “It seemed like time stopped.”

First responders scrambled to find a way to get him out, and Dianna did her best to keep Leo calm. “I knew if he panicked, we weren’t going to get anywhere.”

The hole is only 15-inches wide, so their options for rescuers were limited.

For 1.5 hours, Leo’s mom and dad hoped for the best. They could yell down but had no idea what would happen.

“When you’re laying down on the ground around a little hole, you feel helpless, it’s a long time,” Hassebrock said.

A worn piece of rubber with metal brackets on either side was the lifesaver Leo needed.

“I’m just really lucky I got my whole family here today.”

Of course, the rambunctious young boy would be saved by the seat of a swing, thinking it was all a game.

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This story was originally published on July 9, 2019

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