Note: This story has been updated
A driver was rescued from freezing and rising waters by an off-duty Jackson County deputy on Saturday.
According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, a driver called for help at about 5:21 p.m. Saturday afternoon saying that she had driven into floodwaters, the water was rising and she was trapped inside.
Deputy Mark Holt was heading home after refereeing a basketball game when he heard dispatchers relay the report and realized he was only a few minutes away from the scene. By the time he reached the scene four minutes later, dispatchers had lost contact with the driver. He found the vehicle in the 9000 block of East County Road 50N, known as the Chestnut Ridge Bottoms, with the water up past the hood and rising.
Holt said that he tried to break the window with a specialized tool, but the device broke rather than the window. He then tried to punch the window out, but couldn’t. Finally he grabbed onto the door and managed to wrestle it open.
Despite being numb from the cold and slipping into the river flow, he pulled the woman to safety.
Holt then drove the woman, later identified as Jennifer Colvin of North Vernon, to Schneck Medical Center for treatment. She was treated and released later that night, deputies say.
Holt did not suffer any injuries from the rescue effort.
Sheriff Rick Meyer said that Holt’s “quick response kept this incident from being a lot worse.”
Holt said that his was his fourth river rescue, but by far the coldest.
Also assisting at the scene were Deputies Kevin Settle and Aaron Wilkins, Reserve Deputy Michael Maxie, Crothersville Assistant Chief Jonathon Tabor and Crothersville Reserve Deputy Derek Minton, along with Vernon Township Fire Department.
Photo courtesy of Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.