Vehicle crashes through guardrail and into Yakima river; two peo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Vehicle crashes through guardrail and into Yakima river; two people rescued

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SELAH, WA - At 07:13 this morning, the Yakima Fire Department, Washington State Patrol and Yakima County Sherriff’s office responded to reports of a vehicle in the Yakima River near the HWY-97 / I-82 westbound on ramp.

First arriving fire units found a severely damaged guardrail with a trail through heavy brush and debris leading into the Yakima River. The water rescue boat from YFD was sent in the initial dispatch, down river to Thorp Road, Century Landing to gain access to the vehicle and occupants that were in the river. People could be heard yelling from shore but crews had no visual contact with them or their location.

A rescue boat saved one female who was in the water, but the vehicle had continued to float down river with another occupant inside.

The YFD rescue boat was in the water at 07:40 a.m. and consisted of personnel from Yakima Fire and Yakima County Sherriff’s office water rescue teams. At 07:45 the crew on the boat had to weave through downed trees and debris to gain access to the 22 year old male and the crew was able to pull him to the safety in the boat. Both were transferred to awaiting ambulances and transported to Yakima Valley Memorial for evaluation and treatment of injuries.

Jeff Pfaff, Yakima Fire Department PIO stated, "Today’s rescue was a success with the joint efforts of the YFD and YSO water rescue team personnel. Those rescued today were very lucky to be in a location where the water is a bit shallower. About 100 yards past the vehicle, the water gets much deeper, wider, and leads to the diversion dam."