Miracle rescue of woman whose car landed in canal

Published: May 29, 2008 | 7072nd good news item since 2003

Water filled an upside-down Subaru that plunged into an irrigation canal Saturday evening, but Wenatchee police and firefighters freed the driver after an ordeal that lasted between five and 10 minutes, police and fire officials said.

Camella Rasmussen, 40, the driver, was listed in satisfactory condition this morning at Central Washington Hospital, a spokeswoman said.

One officer at the scene described it “as nothing short of a miracle” that Rasmussen survived, said Wenatchee police Sgt. Cherie Smith.

Authorities were called at 8:43 p.m. to the 2200 block of Maple Street, where a 1993 Subaru Legacy sat in waist-deep water, said Smith.

Two witnesses described seeing the westbound vehicle veer left and into the canal, said Smith. They ran to a neighbor’s home for help, and the man there grabbed a crowbar and tried unsuccessfully to break out a window underwater, said Smith.

Police arrived but also had difficulty breaking out the glass cleanly, said Smith. Meanwhile, the woman “was just sitting there in the driver’s seat, not trying to get out,” even as the cabin filled with water, Smith said.

Police and firefighters were able to tip the car on its side, said Smith. Assistant Fire Chief Mark Yaple said firefighters then tied the car to an anchor on solid ground to keep it from tipping over again. Firefighters finally were able to use tools to cut out a window and chunk of the windshield, freeing the woman.

Smith said the woman did not appear intoxicated, and it’s unclear why the car veered into the canal.

Published in Rescues
See also: wenatcheeworld.com
Inside Good News Blog