Driver rescued from St. Joseph River sustains minor injuries

Published 1:27 pm Monday, January 25, 2021

BUCHANAN — A driver is recovering from minor injuries after she and her vehicle were recovered from the St. Joseph River in Buchanan.

The Buchanan Township Fire Department responded to a call at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning in the 15000 block of E. River Road of a car sliding off the road.

On route to the accident, firefighters were updated by dispatch that police officers at the scene observed a car had its roof partially submerged in water, with a person trapped inside.

Michigan State Police troopers, along with Buchanan Police Department officers and Buchanan Township firefighters rescued a 25-year-old Buchanan woman from the vehicle. She was the lone occupant of the car.

The driver reportedly swerved to avoid a deer on the road and lost control of her vehicle. The vehicle struck a utility pole and a tree, went across the road and struck another tree. The vehicle then went off the ledge into the river and landed on its roof.

MSP Troopers and Buchanan Police Officers broke the windows out of the vehicle to extract the driver from the vehicle. Due to the partially crushed roof, the driver could not be extracted through the windows and the Buchanan Township Fire Department utilized the “jaws of life” to cut open the door of the vehicle, which allowed the driver to exit the vehicle.

The driver was then transported by the Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service to Spectrum Health Lakeland Hospital in Niles for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police, Buchanan City Police, Southwest Michigan Community Ambulance Service and Roadrunner Towing assisted at the scene.