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Man Saved In Dramatic Rescue In Logan County

Reported: Dec. 31, 2013 11:13 PM EST
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LOGAN, W. Va. (Kera Mashek) A Logan County man is safe after being pulled from some frigid waters by state police and local firefighters early Tuesday morning.

It all started around midnight, when state police were called out on a domestic disturbance. En route, troopers were told to respond to an accident in the Peach Creek area, with a car under water and people trapped inside. Once they got there, state police and Logan firefighters jumped into action, risking their lives to save the driver.

Water is rushing through Peach Creek, and somewhere deep below is a car that drifted away during a dramatic rescue early Tuesday morning. Trooper Silas Belt and his partner had to act fast, if there was any chance of saving anyone inside the car that had veered off the nearby road into the creek.

"Knew we were going to go into the water after the individual and we took our gun belts off. While we were doing that, the current actually picked the car up and moved it down the river," Trooper Belt said.

"It surprised them as much as it did us....It's one of those things you get everything together and go pretty quick," said Logan Fire Chief Scott Beckett.

Police and firefighters were able to see enough of the car to know only the driver was trapped.

"We used a log to try to get further out while the individual--Chief Beckett was telling him to get onto the roof so we could get to him," said Trooper Belt.

Trooper Belt ended up completely underwater at one point.. His partner, Chief Beckett and another firefighter went in too. Both the weather and water conditions made the rescue extremely difficult.

"The cold water slows you down. Once you get it in, it takes your breath and you have very limited time to be in there and get out before you start feeling the effects of hypothermia. Your body starts slowing down. That's what happened to us. We were in ther maybe 10 minutes and it felt like a lot longer," Chief Beckett said.

But ultimately with team work, the driver was pulled to safety.

You can actually still see the footprints from where rescue workers went through the muddy banks of the Peach Creek in order to get to the car stuck in the waters below. When you think about the bone chilling air temperature and freezing water, it's really a miracle everyone is now okay.

"I don't think the gentleman got a scratch on him, and that's why we do it. That's our job: go into dangerous situations and make a better outcome," said Beckett.

Trooper Belt and the driver were taken to the ER for treatment of hypothermia symptoms, but Belt is already back at work and grateful he and the man he helped save are able to ring in a new year.

"It showed the kind of brotherhood first responders have in any kind of situation," said Trooper Belt.

The driver was released from the hospital, but we're told he will be facing criminal charges in connection with the accident.



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