News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
FlashAlert: December 3rd, 2017 8:33 PM
night, December 2nd, at around 6:40 p.m.; A 23 year old male mistakenly drove
his vehicle down the ramp at the Buena Vista Ferry and into the frigid
Willamette River. The young man was able to immediately exit the vehicle before
it became fully submerged without injury. He told Deputies that he did not see
any roadway signs and thought he was simply driving down a hill. Deputies
determined the driver was not impaired at the time of the incident. The man was
the only occupant in the vehicle.
The Sheriff's Office would like to
remind drivers to be extremely cautious when navigating dark county roadways.
These dark and rainy fall evenings can make it more difficult to see roadway
signs, exits, and hazards that may be present. Please allow extra time if needed
when traveling this time of year.
NO PICTURES OF THE SCENE ARE
Also, a few tips in the event you ever have a need to
escape a submerged car:
* Suggestion #1 -- You're going to need every
second to get out of your vehicle. Worry about calling for help once you've made
it and are safe. Time is critical.
* Suggestion #2 -- Unbuckle your seatbelt
* Suggestion #3 -- Don't open the door! Roll down the windows
instead. Opening the door is very difficult against the water pressure and it
also allows so much water into the vehicle that it will speed up the sinking
process. You'll have 30 seconds to a minute until the water rises to the bottom
of the passenger windows. This is commonly referred to as the floating period.
After that, the water pressure will force the window against the doorframe,
making it essentially impossible to roll down.
Caveat to Suggestion #3
-- Break that window. Since most vehicles these days have electronically
controlled windows, the circuits probably will short before you have a chance to
roll them down. In that case, you'll need to break the window open, ideally with
a took to break windows which is always a good idea to keep in your car. Make
sure you keep a tool like this within reach at all times, otherwise you may
never get to it in time and they won't work underwater. Again, you will have to
act quickly. There are a variety of tools you can research for purchase which
uses a spring-loaded mechanism to shatter glass. If you ever practice using such
a tool to break a window make sure you use the appropriate safety equipment to
protect yourself from injury.
* Suggestion #4 -- Children First. Everybody
should go out their own window if possible, but the kids are going to have a
harder time fighting though the rush of water, so push them out if you have to.
Starting with the oldest kids and taking the youngest out in your arms.
Suggestion #5 -- Get out. Swim through the broken window as fast as possible. If
you've not been able to get that window rolled down or broken, you'll still have
a chance to escape. Once the water fills the car, the pressure will be equalized
and you will be able to open the door and swim to safety.
As always, take
care and stay safe!
Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
Information Officer Deputy Ethan Griffith
Cell Phone: 503.932.7575
On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow