Rescuers Find Very Alive Man in Submerged Car

After his car crashed into a California river, Michael Finn was able to breathe thanks to air pocket
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2018 7:56 AM CST
An Early Morning Crash, Then 5 Hours in the River
Close call for Michael Finn.   (Getty Images/David_Bodescu)

It took more than two hours to extract him from his vehicle, and he'd been trapped inside it for more than two hours before that. Michael Finn is lucky to be alive after being pulled out of California's Klamath River early Wednesday after an accident that sent his Ford Fusion flying into the water, overturned for almost five hours, the California Highway Patrol tells KDRV. CHP says that around 5:30am that day, a call came in that an upside-down car had been spotted in the river, and when rescuers rushed to the scene, they found the car "on its roof, almost fully submerged," with its emergency flashers blinking. When the car was pulled up, Finn was discovered inside, alive and breathing thanks to a small air pocket, and he was taken out of the car at almost 8am. He tells police he thinks he crashed around 3am.

KVAL cites the "multiple agencies" that were involved in getting the 28-year-old and his car out of the river, with firefighters, CHP officers, divers, EMTs, and a towing company all playing a part. One Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office diver in particular was "extremely instrumental" in the rescue, jumping into the water to hook Finn's car up to a towline, per KDRV and KOBI-TV. As of Wednesday night, hospital officials said Finn was in "guarded" condition from exposure, with his vitals still all over the map. It's unclear what caused his car to crash. (A Mississippi woman walked away relatively unscathed after her car went airborne and crashed into a gas pump.)

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