2014-05-22 / Front Page

Man Rescued from River At Homets Ferry

David Keeler

Laceyville Fire Chief Brad Fassett, standing, and firefighter Paul Leatso, driving boat, with the unidenti-fied man they rescued from the Susquehanna River Thursday morning. Photo by David KeelerLaceyville Fire Chief Brad Fassett, standing, and firefighter Paul Leatso, driving boat, with the unidenti-fied man they rescued from the Susquehanna River Thursday morning. Photo by David Keeler

An unidentified man was rescued from the Susquehanna River near Homets Ferry early Thursday morning after he accidently drove his truck into the river the previous night and spent a rainy, cold night marooned on a nearby mountainside.

Wyalusing Fire Chief Adam Dietz said the incident began to unfold around 11 p.m. Wednesday night when the man mistakenly drove down SR2025 in Homets Ferry and into the river.

Dietz said he believes it was a GPS error that led the man down the road that crosses railroad tracks and runs by the former Homets Ferry General Store. “This isn’t the first time something like this has happened,” Dietz said, explaining that last winter a driver following an erroneous GPS route drove into the river at the same place.

Dietz said the man managed to get out of his sinking pickup but was unable to orient himself in the darkness and ended up swimming to the Terrytown side of the river where he spent the night on a mountainside.

On Thursday morning, Dietz said he received a call from Harry Mader, an employee of Fenton Welding, who told Dietz that after hearing someone shouting for help, he and other Fenton employees went to the riverbank and spotted the man attempting to swim the river.

Dietz called in area rescue boats and the victim was eventually picked up on an island by a boat provided by the Laceyville Fire Company and transported downriver to the Terrytown boat access, where he was treated by Memorial EMS personnel and transported to Memorial Hospital.

“I think he was suffering from hypothermia,” Dietz said, “but other than that he seemed okay. He must be a good swimmer because he swam across the river with his boots on.”

The victim’s truck remained in the water at about 10 a.m. Thursday morning, Dietz said. It was located about 100 yards downstream from where it plunged into the river and about 40 yards off shore.

In addition to Laceyville and Wyalusing, other emergency crews responding to the scene included Wysox, Towanda, North Towanda and Tunkhannock’s dive team.

 

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