CLOSE CALL: Driver Rescued From Rising Creek

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An Iowa trucker found himself in trouble early Thursday morning.

Jasper County authorities say 70-year-old Dwayne Michael of Granger went off Interstate-80 near Baxter.

The truck plunged into the 12-feet deep flood waters of Prairie Creek.

The Jasper County Sheriff's office was called to the scene after a passerby said they saw something along the interstate.

They quickly realized it was a semi head first in the flooded creek below and someone was trapped inside.

“I hopped in the water swam over to him and as we were trying to figure out the door if we could get him through the driver`s side door I was treading water and my feet found a big opening,” says Ofc. Joe Bartello with the Baxter Police Dept.

Ofc. Bartello joined Newton Police Officer Adam Herman and Jasper County Deputy Jeremy Burdess already in the water.

He says he dove under the water and into the cab and found the driver, 70-year-old Dwayne Michael breathing through a tiny air pocket.

“I really honest to God have no idea how he found it from where he was at driving the vehicle it was a miracle he made it to the small air pocket at the top of the cab,” says Officer Bartello.

Ofc. Bartello grabbed a hold of Michael and with the help of the others in the water  to pulled him to safety.

“He was very shaken, short of breath, kind of stood there for a moment once we had him pulled out caught his air before we were able to get him over to the edge of the water and get him pulled out,” says Ofc. Bartello.

The Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty says several law enforcement agencies worked together to make the rescue a success.

“I was pretty light on my feet when they told me they were able to get him out and there were no major injuries,” says Sheriff Halferty.

Officer Bartello agrees, saying the situation could have easily been a lot worse.

“Looking at the intensity of the crash and the track marks and the damage coming in and how far the vehicle traveled before it stopped where it did, yeah I was really amazed that he had pretty minor injuries for where he was,” says Ofc. Bartello.

Michael is still in the hospital recovering, no condition was listed for him.

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says they are still investigating the crash.


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