Special Techniques Needed to Remove Man From Van After Crashing in Creek

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LFR crews respond to an accident after a van crashed into a creek and needed special rescue techniques to free the trapped driver and bring him up a steep embankment.

Just after 10:30 Saturday evening, Lincoln Fire and Rescue was dispatched to an accident at NW 41st and W. Swanton.

A supervisor at Lincoln Municipal Airport witnessed a van go east on W. Swanton and continue through the T intersection across 100 feet of grass before plunging down a 40 foot embankment, rolling onto its side and ending up in the creek.

Responding crews were told the van appeared to be sinking in the creek. When they arrived, they found the van on its side in about 12 or 14 inches of water.

LFR Division Chief Roger Bonin said they used a low angle rescue technique to stabilize the van before cutting into it. The driver was extricated through the windshield then carefully hauled up the almost vertical embankment with the help of some intricate rope configurations.

It took just under an hour from the initial call to 911 until the man was being loaded into a medic unit. Two tow trucks took another 40 minutes to get the van back up to the road.

Chief Bonin said crews train on technical rescues regularly, this being the first one he has actually been a part of in quite some time.

Bonin said the man was transported to Bryan LGH West hospital with non life threatening injuries.

It is unknown whether alcohol is a factor in the crash. Lincoln Police are still investigating.