ISP officer pulls Roann man from submerged vehicle

Trooper Dustin Rutledge wades through high water to rescue a Roann man trapped in his vehicle Friday night, July 7. Photo provided

By The Paper staff

An Indiana State Police officer pulled a Roann man to safety after the county resident’s vehicle had submerged in rushing water on County Road 600 West Friday night, July 7.

According to an ISP press release:

At approximately 11:53 p.m., officers from the Indiana State Police, the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and firefighters from the Roann Volunteer Fire Department responded to the report of a submerged vehicle on C.R. 600 West near County Road 500 North.

When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they found a Chevrolet Cobalt off the west side of C.R. 600 West. The vehicle was submerged in rushing water with only the passenger side of the vehicle visible to the officers.

Responders advised they could see that the vehicle was occupied by a male, who was later identified as Daniel Winters, 60, Roann.

Trooper Dustin Rutledge entered the rushing water and was armed with a life jacket, provided by Conservation Officer William Dale, for himself and Winters.

The first responders had secured a safety line to a Roann fire truck and to Rutledge. Dale, firefighters and Wabash County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Ryggs manned the safety line while Rutledge made his way through the water and to the Cobalt.

When Rutledge arrived at the car, he saw water up to the steering wheel. While speaking with Winters, Rutledge quickly realized the man was cold and his manual dexterity was poor. Winters’ arms and legs were weak.

Rutledge was able to put a life jacket on Winters and secured him to a safety line.

While Rutledge was pulling Winters from the Cobalt, the safety line secured to Winters broke. Winters was unable to stand, so Rutledge had to drag him to dry land.

Ryggs, Dale, and firefighters assisted in getting Winters to a fire truck.

Winters was treated and released at the scene by Roann paramedics.

This incident is still under investigation.

There had been heavy downpours of rain in the area throughout the day on Friday. ISP officers said it is believed overflow from the nearby Paw Paw Creek contributed to the rushing water and flooding. The area in which the situation occurred is low compared to surrounding areas, which might be the cause for the collection and flow of the water.

Posted on 2017 Jul 11