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Submerged car

A man in a vehicle that crashed into the water at U.S. Highway 101 and Kelso Road was helped by several passersby Saturday morning.

HAUSER — Timing is everything when it comes to cars in the water with someone trapped inside, according to local firefighters.

The North Bay Fire District was called to the scene of a vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 101 at Kelso Road about 11:10 a.m. Saturday morning. The vehicle exited the highway and became submerged in the water with an unconscious and unresponsive occupant still inside, according to a press release from the NBFD. 

A car sits alongside a slough Saturday, Dec. 14, after a single-vehicle crash along U.S. Highway 101 near Hauser. The North Bay Fire District …

The successful extrication and outcome to the event was due to a team effort, a NBFD spokesman said.

First, Molly Silva from Reedsport saw the accident occur and stopped her vehicle, jumped into the water and swam to the car. Then commercial diver Kris Hunter, who was also passing by as the accident took place, stopped and donned his dry suit, entered the water and swam to the vehicle. As NBFD Engine 5 was arriving, another passerby immediately pulled his truck to the shoulder and using his winch, worked in conjunction with the diver to secure the vehicle and winch it to the bank. A rear, side window was broken to gain access and the crew of Engine 5 and bystanders successfully extricated the male driver, who regained consciousness and was transported by ambulance to Bay Area Hospital.

"Thank you diver (and former North Bay firefighter) Kris Hunter for swimming to the vehicle, as well as Paul McKiddy with Bay Area Land Development for securing the vehicle and winching it to the bank. Your efforts truly made this unfortunate event a successful rescue," said the NBFD spokesman.

A tow truck driver pokes shattered glass out of the window of a car Saturday, Dec. 14, after a single-vehicle crash along U.S. Highway 101 nea…

Hauser Fire assisted at the scene and the Bandon Fire/Coos Country Dive Team was activated, however were not required. There was congestion on Highway 101 until the vehicle was removed from the water. 

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