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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: 206777

Reported Deaths: 2754
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40354614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18925235
Lane13896164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001582
Umatilla859387
Linn560380
Yamhill477879
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas387982
Malheur361463
Josephine359872
Benton326422
Jefferson236839
Coos216637
Columbia191929
Union149824
Wasco144330
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121933
Morrow115316
Clatsop10559
Baker101115
Curry70811
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3808258

Reported Deaths: 63335
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124761824454
Riverside3016034627
San Bernardino2992894844
San Diego2817493771
Orange2729225112
Santa Clara1201102188
Kern1107821404
Sacramento1076381731
Fresno1029221724
Alameda895921273
Ventura816381031
San Joaquin746861438
Contra Costa70561813
Stanislaus633871069
Tulare49814849
Monterey43831427
San Mateo42646581
San Francisco37256556
Santa Barbara34596455
Solano33707266
Merced32291478
Sonoma30868317
Imperial28813741
Placer23537299
Kings23189247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16632245
Santa Cruz16235208
Marin14200230
Yolo14156212
Butte12659194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10371116
Napa1002580
Sutter9656113
Yuba648551
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573163
Nevada491075
Humboldt446348
Mendocino432150
Tuolumne420771
Amador373947
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239437
Colusa228418
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14568
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1150
Alpine890
Unassigned330
Medford
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 50°
Crater Lake
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 74°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 74°
Klamath Falls
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 71°
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