Trooper pulls man from submerged vehicle

Video courtesy Indiana State Police

WABASH COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) An Indiana State Police trooper pulled a man from a vehicle that had become submerged in flood waters along a Wabash County roadway Friday.

Indiana State Police Trooper Dustin Rutledge

Emergency responders were called just before midnight Friday to Wabash County Road 600 West near County Road 500 North on a report of a submerged vehicle there. Officers from the Indiana State Police, the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and firefighters from the Roann Volunteer Fire Department all responded to find a Chevrolet Cobalt submerged in rushing water with only the passenger side visible, and a man inside.

Trooper Dustin Rutledge went into the water with a life jacket on while Conservation Officer William Dale and Wabash County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Ryggs manned a safety line. According to a news release from state police, Rutledge made it to the Cobalt in time to find water up to its steering wheel and the occupant – 60-year-old Daniel Winters of Roann – losing manual dexterity.

Rutledge put a life jacket on Winters and secured him to the safety line, then pulled him from the Cobalt. As Winters was being pulled, though, the safety line broke, the release said. Unable to stand, Rutledge drug Winters to dry land.

A vehicle became submerged in flood waters along Wabash County Road 600 West near County Road 500 North in Wabash County on Friday, July 7, 2017. (Indiana State Police)

Ryggs, Dale, and firefighters took Winters to a fire truck, and he was treated and released at the scene by Roann paramedics.

The incident is under investigation.

State police said in the release that the rushing water was caused by heavy downpours throughout the day Friday, which overflowed nearby Paw Paw Creek into the low-lying area.