Water Poured Into Car Trapped in Sinkhole. Then, a Drone

'Maybe 30 minutes later, they could have been dead,' Colorado teen says of his well-timed rescue
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2023 2:20 PM CDT

When Josh Logue started flying drones as a hobby, he had no idea it would result in him saving lives. That's what happened Saturday morning as the 18-year-old Colorado man sent up a drone to explore the Denver suburb of Brighton after heavy rainfall transformed a dry canal into an "overflowing stream," per the Washington Post. Logue soon spotted a hole in a road near a bridge across the canal. Probing further, he saw an SUV overturned inside. After calling 911, he drove with his father and a neighbor who works as a firefighter to the site, about 2 miles away. There, they found a Jeep Grand Cherokee completely hidden from the roadway inside a 7-foot-deep hole that was steadily filling with water.

As the SUV's horn was blaring nonstop, it was some time before the party realized there were two people trapped inside the vehicle. Finally, Logue's neighbor, Ryan Nuanes, heard shouts for help above the din. A 66-year-old man and 61-year-old woman were able to convey that the 6-inch pocket of air in which they could breathe was slowly shrinking. "I've been a Denver firefighter for 25 years and it was the most dire situation that I had seen," Nuanes tells the Post. First responders soon arrived, working with the Logues and Nuanes to move the SUV so that both occupants could be freed. The male driver, who hadn't been wearing a seatbelt, was seriously injured, Colorado State Patrol said, per KMGH.

The couple, trapped for 15 minutes before Logue and his helpers arrived, had been unable to call for assistance themselves as the water had rendered their phones unusable, Brighton's fire chief, Brycen Garrison, told USA Today. As KMGH reports, the sinkhole had opened in "a desolate spot" on a "lightly traveled gravel road in rural Weld County," so "the odds of getting help from a passing motorist were not good." Nuanes credited Logue with the rescue, per USA Today. Jake Logue recalled telling his son, "Dude, you just saved people's lives!" per the Post. "That was crazy to think about," said Josh Logue. "If I would have been down here 20, maybe 30 minutes later, they could have been dead." (More uplifting news stories.)

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