ELKVIEW, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) -- Dangerous weather conditions led to an intense water rescue Friday night in the Elkview area.
Crews had to pull a man from his vehicle that almost got swept away in the Little Sandy River.
A driver was trapped inside his SUV Friday night as water rushed around it, leaving first responders with just minutes to take action.
“Water was rising really quick, we knew we needed to make a decision quick,” Pinch Fire Chief David Wagoner said.
The fast-moving Little Sandy River was anything but little as it started to sweep the Chevrolet Tahoe away. The driver was helpless inside.
“We estimate he was probably in there 30 minutes from beginning to end,” Wagoner said.
The man was trying to cross the flooded area and got swept away. He was able to call 911 from inside the SUV.
Within minutes the Pinch, Frame and Clendenin fire departments were on scene fighting the fast-moving water to get to him.
“Whatever they did, they needed to do it quick and they knew it.”
Family members watched from the riverbank, terrified as the water touched the top of his vehicle.
“The video shows Corey knocking the window out and pulling him out the back glass,” Wagoner said.
Lt. Corey Carr, with the Pinch Volunteer Fire Department, was able to break through the back window of the SUV and pull the man to a rescue boat.
He said they had just minutes to spare.
“With a water rescue it's really unpredictable. You could have trees floating down the creek, it's a really high risk, low frequency call that we run,” Carr said.
The driver was okay thanks to the quick action and teamwork of first responders.
“With the practice they've had and the training they had, they were able to come up with the safest way to get the guy out,” Wagoner said.
Wagoner said they don't think of themselves as heroes, it's just all in a day's work.
Those first responders make it a point to train together and practice water rescues whenever they can.
They said even though they are with different departments, they are able to work together quickly in a situation just like this.