Construction Accident Leads to Water Rescue

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

July 5, 2006

A construction worker in Albemarle County was recovering Wednesday, after an accident left him stuck in the water at the construction site, on top of a construction vehicle.

"I just saw him laying on top of the truck, pretty much like he was laying on the beach or something," said Olympia Dr. resident, Ben Altenhofen.

However, this was definitely no day at the beach for the man. It happened at a site along Olympia Drive. Officials say the man was going down a hill, when the brakes failed. Instead of turning and possibly rolling over, the worker decided about five feet of water was a better way to go.

"He couldn't make the turn cause he was going too fast. He took the lesser of two evils and went into the water," said fire chief with the East Rivanna Fire Company, John Hood.

The injured man was able to get out of the cabin and onto the top of the truck, where he waited for crews to move in for the rescue.

"What we ended up doing was using a mobilization equipment that we would normally carry on an ambulance and a special thing called a stokes basket to put him in and then we also use a zodiac boat and we just used paddles," said CARS Water Rescue Captain, Jim Miller.

Within about 30 minutes, crews were able to get the man back on solid ground.

That construction worker has been treated and released from UVA Medical Center.

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