Woman rescued from sinking car in Macomb County

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

A 23-year-old woman escaped major injury early Wednesday after several Macomb County Sheriff’s deputies rushed into a river to free her from her sinking vehicle.

The Warren resident crashed her 2008 Chevrolet Uplander around 8:40 a.m. while traveling westbound on Interstate 94 between Metropolitan Parkway and Shook Road in Clinton Township, Lt. John Michalke said. Officials received a 911 call from a trucker who witnessed the vehicle leave the roadway and crash into a drainage ditch adjacent to the Clinton River Spillway.

“Our deputies were there within minutes and they found the car partially submerged,” Michalke said. “Our deputies waded into the water and helped get a woman out of the car.”

The vehicle was locked and running with the woman unresponsive in the driver’s seat wearing a seat belt, officials said. Running water reached about halfway up the windows.

“Deputy (Eric) Holmes broke the window using a tactical baton. With the help of Harrison Township firefighter Matt Sahr, he was able to extricate the driver from the vehicle,” officials said. “Two other sheriff deputies (Thomas Flanigan and Dave Jaroma) carried the woman to safety while firefighter Sahr and deputies searched the vehicle for other occupants.”

Officials spotted car seats floating in the water and feared children might have been trapped underwater, Michalke said. But rescuers were able to confirm no one else was inside the vehicle at the time of the crash.

The van eventually became “completely submerged” in about 20 feet of water, Michalke said.

The woman is being treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, he added. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Michigan State Police.

HFournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier