Responders rescue woman from car submerged in Lake Granby
August 4, 2009
A 78-year-old woman was saved after being trapped in a vehicle submerged in Lake Granby on Monday.
A two-car Highway 34 accident involving a utility truck and a rented Hummer 3 resulted in the Hummer skidding off the highway and descending the 40-foot embankment into the lake.
Four family members from New York managed to escape the sinking vehicle, but a grandmother from China remained trapped by her seatbelt underwater anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes before emergency responders freed her, according to responders’ accounts.
She was taken by ambulance to Granby Medical, then flown to St. Anthony Central, Denver.
As of Tuesday morning, the woman, whose name has not been released while the Colorado State Patrol continues its investigation of the accident, remained in the intensive care unit on a ventilator and was being monitored for possible pneumonia complications, according to an update from Grand County Emergency Medical Services; she is expected to make a full recovery.
EMT Bryan Roland and Grand County Sheriff’s Deputy Derek Bell were first to the scene, joining several bystanders who already had swam out 50 feet from shore to help the accident victims. Roland managed to shatter the vehicle window with a Leatherman utility tool to create an escape for the woman. She was unconscious until revived in the ambulance, according to Grand County EMS personnel.
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Because Roland and Bell were in areas near where the accident occurred, the rescue reportedly took just seven to eight minutes. Other drivers and passengers involved in the accident sustained minor to zero injuries.
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