Steer Away From Flooding

By Max Resnik

March 3, 2011 Updated Mar 3, 2011 at 8:26 PM EDT

BERNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Flooding lead to a minor water rescue in Berne yesterday when a girl became stranded en route to visit her boyfriend.

Lauren Brinneman, 16, of Ossian was on her way to visit her boyfriend, Heath Jones, 18 of Berne, when her car was unable to make it through a stretch of County Road 500W north of State Road 218. She was expected to be at Jones’s by 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Upon hearing where his girlfriend had landed, Heath and his mother Katrina Jones, headed for Brinneman.

Along with members of Berne Fire and Rescue and the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, Heath was able to secure his girlfriend in what Katrina Jones described as 1.5 feet of floodwater. She was not very worried when her son sprung into action to save his girlfriend. She said, “I was a little leery of my son walking out there but if she would have been about 50 feet farther south, she would have been on the strong current and her car would not be on the road. I mean where she was the water was pretty calm.”

In fact the rescue was so minor that Heath and his girlfriend Lauren were able to share a good laugh after the incident. Katrina Jones said, “He was giving his girlfriend a hard time, teasing her and telling her about the new car wash on 500 West and that she got a nice underbody wash, but she took it. She's good.”

In Decatur it was a completely different story. Decatur Fire and Rescue had save a woman from near death as the result of driving into a flooded roadway in Willshire, Ohio. Rescue teams used inflatable motorboats to drive out to here where the woman, described to be in her 80s, was suffering from hypothermic conditions. The crew had to break the car’s windows to secure the woman. They described extremely cold water up to her neck. They also said she was unconscious.

Fire Chief Les Marckel said, “She's very fortunate that within a matter of probably another 10 minutes she would have made it. She was already hypothermic to the point where she was... She wasn't really conscious.”

The woman was life-flighted to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. At last check she was in critical condition.

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