Deputies rescue men from water

Just a sweet reminder for our friends in uniform. THIS is how it’s supposed to work:


By DAVID HEDGES
Publisher
Roane sheriff’s deputies rescued two men in a pickup caught in high water Friday night.

Deputies Mike King and Matthew “Bo” Williams waded into waist-deep water to free the men from the truck after it stalled in water along Front Street and began floating downstream.

Police were called to assist around 7 p.m., after water from a day of rain and melting snow forced the creek over the street.

Sgt. John Caldwell of the Spencer Police Dept. said the deputies risked their own safety to rescue the men.

Caldwell said the two men, identified as Shane Burgess and Mike Godbey, came down George Street and apparently did not see signs put up to warn motorists of high water on Front Street.

He said the red Ford pickup truck Burgess was driving stalled in the high water near a new bridge under construction.

“One of the neighbors saw the truck with the men in it going down the creek and reported it,” Caldwell said.

Early reports led officers to believe there may have been a child in the truck, but that turned out to be incorrect.

Caldwell said the truck was almost to the footbridge behind Spencer Middle School when officers arrived.

Caldwell and Lt. Roger Simons arrived in time to witness the rescue.

King said he and Williams were looking for the vehicle in the dark when they pulled up behind the middle school.

“We couldn’t see the truck at first,” he said. “As we turned around, my headlights hit it and we could see it out in the water.”

King said he and Williams used the footbridge to cross the water.

He said the passenger, Godbey, was intoxicated and refused to get out of the truck, even as the water climbed up to the level of the truck’s seat.

He said the driver could not get out on his side because the water was too deep.

He said the truck was being carried downstream as the officers tried to get the passenger to climb out on his own.

“We were worried once the truck hit the bridge it would spin around and go into deeper water,” King said.

King and Williams waded out into the water and pulled the passenger out, which allowed the driver to jump out on his own.

Caldwell praised his fellow officers for the high water rescue.

“They did a real good job,” he said.

King said the passenger could have been charged with intoxication, but that would have meant the officers would have had to take him across the creek.

“He should have been arrested,” King said, “but we would have had to wade across the water with him and we didn’t want to take the chance.”

King said the driver promised to take the man to a friend’s house to let him sober up.

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Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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