TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kayaker helps save family of 5 who crashed into Calif. river

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 8:21 p.m.
 

KYBURZ, Calif. — A kayaker was being credited with helping to save a family of five when their SUV had veered off a road and ended up in a Northern California river.

The family was driving along Highway 50 near the Sierra Nevada community of Kyburz on Thursday afternoon when their SUV veered off the road, hit a concrete mile marker, a large tree, a boulder and then went into the American River, Sacramento television station KCRA-TVreported.

A kayaker on the river was able to get three children — a 4-year-old girl and two 15-year-twin girls — out of the SUV and get them to shore, officials said.

When the kayaker — identified as Mark Divittorio of Placerville — went back to the SUV, he found the driver with his head partly underwater and the man's wife helping to hold his head up, the station said.

“It was fortuitous that they didn't actually land on me,” Divittorio said. “I was kayaking right there moments before they plunged off the cliff.”

A fire crew that happened to be in the area for another call was able to get to the scene within three minutes, Mike Pott, division chief of the El Dorado County Fire Protection District, said.

Firefighters were able to stabilize the driver and get him and his wife out of the vehicle, which was on its side and half-submerged in the river, Pott said.

The driver, Christian Lemler, 50, of Livermore suffered moderate to major injuries, said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Poor. With the cause of the crash still under investigation, it had not been determined how fast the SUV was going when it crashed into the river. It was raining at the time, but it was not known whether the weather contributed to the crash.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Letter that inspired Beat poet Kerouac discovered
  2. Police code of conduct aims to curb unlawful seizures from motorists
  3. Graham rejects GOP Benghazi report as ‘garbage’
  4. 32 horses killed in stable fire near Chicago
  5. Boy with fake gun shot by officer dies
  6. Ohio dairy farmers cashing in on gas well boom
  7. Vatican prosecutor did not report abusive Catholic priest
  8. Tension, anxiety mount in Ferguson as grand jury ruling awaited
  9. Nevada speaker-elect steps down amid criticism
  10. Tufts center study: It costs $2.6B to get drug to market
  11. Florida man who ambushed police held anti-government beliefs
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.