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Driver Survives for Hours After Plunging Into Klamath River

A Klamath River man managed to survive for hours in freezing water after his vehicle flipped upside-down into the river.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 10:45 AM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 11:06 PM

YREKA, Calif. — A Klamath River man managed to survive for "nearly five hours" in the water after he crashed his car, flipping upside-down into the river, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Dispatch received a call regarding the crash just before 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning after the caller noticed a vehicle "upside-down" in the Klamath River. When emergency personnel arrived, they found a red 2018 Ford Fusion in the river along State Route 96, west of State Route 263 — "on its roof, almost fully submerged, and the four-way emergency flashers were on," CHP said.

It wasn't until a coalition of law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and rescue divers managed to pull the car out of the water that they realized the driver, 28-year-old Michael Finn, was still inside and quite alive.

"The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Dive Team Commander, Sergeant Giannini, was extremely instrumental in this rescue." said CHP Officer Shadwell. When a tow truck arrived, the Dive Commander hooked up the vehicle to recover it from the Klamath River.

When rescuers found Finn inside, Cal Fire and Mt. Shasta paramedics began providing medical aid until Finn could be rushed by ambulance to Fairchild Medical Center to be treated for exposure.

"Mr. Finn told officers he may have crashed into the water around 3:00 AM this morning, he was pulled from the vehicle at approximately 7:55 AM, and he endured nearly five hours breathing from a pocket of air inside his vehicle," CHP said.

According to officials at Fairchild, Finn remains in "guarded" condition at the hospital's ER. His vitals remain unstable following the morning's ordeal.

CHP did not how the crash may have happened, but they did issue a reminder to drivers to "slow down during hours of darkness" when roads are often icy.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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Fog and stagnant air in the valleys, dry and mild weather continues into Monday
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