Kayaker helps save family of 5 who crashed into Calif. river
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Video of white Chicago patrolman fatally firing on fleeing black youth sparks demonstrations
- Foreign policy expert: Obama administration should create Syria safe areas
- Self-driving vehicles closer to getting green light as feds ease stance
- Email address gives FBI lead on record theft of user IDs, passwords
- GOP readies next assault on health care law
- Kentucky Gov. Beshear restores right to vote for thousands of nonviolent felons
- Poll: 4 in 10 know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers
- House Republicans call for refugee limits in spending bill
- Traffic deaths rise sharply in United States
- Berra, Barbra among 17 to receive nation’s highest civilian award
- Newborn left in manger in N.Y. church, police say