High-risk rescue saves couple from raging river

High-risk rescue saves couple from raging river
(Source: Google Maps)

MCCURTAIN COUNTY, OK (KSLA) - Rescuers worked for more than six hours in pouring rain to save a couple from a raging river.

The harrowing, high-risk rescue happened late Wednesday night and into early Thursday morning about 15 miles northwest of Broken Bow in southeast Oklahoma.

The man and woman were in a pickup crossing a low-lying bridge over Glover River about four miles north of state Highway 3 at state Highway 98.

That's where the rushing waters swept the truck off the span just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.

McCurtain County was under a flash flood warning at the time.

Lucky for them, authorities said, the couple's vehicle got caught in trees about a three-fourths of a mile downstream.

The pair climbed into the truck bed and called the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office.

Rescuers from the Sheriff's Office and fire departments could not see the truck from the bridge when they arrived.

But they were in contact with the couple on a cellphone.

Then the river swept the man and woman out of the truck bed before rescuers could put their boats in the water.

Searchers later found the man several hundred yards downstream from where the truck got hung up.

Fire department personnel on the west bank used ropes to pull him from the river, Sheriff Kevin Clardy says in a post on his Facebook page.

The woman made it to several trees on the east bank about three-fourths of a mile south of where rescuers had saved the man.

"Deputies and the emergency management director located the female and were able to direct other rescue workers to this location while I stayed in verbal contact with her," the sheriff says in his post.

Two Garvin firefighters and Hochatown firefighter in a Hochatown Fire Department boat rescued the woman about 5:15 a.m. Thursday.

EMS personnel treated the man and woman at the scene.

The pair were not not taken to a hospital.

"These two individuals were very lucky to survive this incident," the sheriff says in his post.

"I have nothing but respect for these dedicated rescue personnel. This was an extremely dangerous night rescue that saved the lives of these two individuals," he continues.

The sheriff concludes his post with this plea:

"In the future, I would ask please do not drive into flooded areas. You not only put your life in danger, but also all the emergency responders trying to save you."

Assisting the Sheriff's Office with the rescue were personnel from the Broken Bow, Hochatown and Garvin fire departments, McCurtain County EMS and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

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