Monday, April 7, 2008

Car falls 30 feet into creek


A sedan flipped off the side of Las Canoas Road on Sunday afternoon, leaving at least one victim trapped after falling approximately 30 feet and landing in a small creek near Skofield Park.
Firefighters rigged up a pulley system to bring the driver, a middle-aged woman, back to the roadside. Santa Barbara City Fire Battalion Chief Jim Bryden said rescuers put the woman in a neck brace and backboard as a precautionary measure.

Her injuries had yet to be determined on the scene, but several witnesses said she appeared to have escaped serious harm.
A couple of hikers in the area heard the crash and called emergency dispatchers at 4:21 p.m. before running to the scene of the accident in the 1800 block of Las Canoas Rd. One witness, Omar Cowan, 24, said the sound of the car falling seemed to last an eternity and kept getting louder.
“Like nothing you had ever heard,” said Cowan, a local resident who had been hiking nearby. “…It sounded pretty terrifying.”
Bryden said although the accident occurred in city territory, firefighters from Montecito Fire District and the County of Santa Barbara also arrived on the scene to assist with the rescue, along with police officers and the Sheriff’s search and rescue squad.
He said pulling the car, a four-door silver sedan, out of the ankle-deep water and back up to the roadside would probably have to be a “two tow-truck operation.”
“We were lucky that no oil or mechanical fluid made it into the creek,” he said.
When asked how often he gets reports such as this, Bryden said it happens from time to time with no real pattern.
“It comes and goes,” he said. “There is no season for this kind of thing.”

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