As the Trinity River continues to rise after recent heavy rains in North Texas, TXDOT Officials have closed FM 3478 due to high water over the roadway. On Wednesday morning, a driver of a small passenger car drove around the barricades and quickly got into trouble as he tried to cross the swollen river. His vehicle stalled after traveling approximately 300 yards into the high water. Water Rescue technicians from the Huntsville Fire Department and a Rescue Boat crew from the New Waverly Fire Department soon joined Riverside Firefighters in the effort to reach the stranded driver. After a few minutes he was rescued without any ill effects, but the same cannot be said for his car.
Walker County Firefighters routinely train together on water rescue operations and have had to deploy those skills on several occasions already this year, with several incidents occurring at this same location. Drivers are reminded to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”. Failure to heed warnings can lead to citations and arrest, and not only endangers the lives of vehicle occupants, but rescuers as well. Earlier this year, a DPS Trooper had to enter flowing flood waters and risk his own life to secure a victim of a similar incident and save her from drowning until additional help arrived.
After performing the water rescue, New Waverly Firefighters returned to their station to clean up their equipment and were soon called to a very different type of vehicle rescue. A 46 year old driver was trapped when her SUV rolled over Wednesday afternoon on FM 1375 West of New Waverly. Firefighters and the Walker County EMS crew stationed in New Waverly were on scene within minutes and immediately went to work to free the driver. Firefighters from North Montgomery County and Huntsville soon arrived to assist as rescuers used the hydraulic “Jaws of Life” to stabilize the vehicle and free the driver.
The driver was freed from the vehicle after several minutes and treated for her injuries by EMTs and Paramedics on scene before she was transported by Walker County EMS to Conroe Regional Medical Center in stable condition.