SUV plummets into Oconomowoc River, boaters come to rescue

CREATED May 19, 2012

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OCONOMOWOC, Wis. - Two people were seriously injured when their SUV went over a guard rail, and rolled several times down an embankment.
 
The vehicle landed in the Oconomowoc River below.
 
The driver was headed westbound on Highway 16 when he lost control near Brown Street, just before 1 p.m. Saturday.
 
The 29-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were taken by medical helicopter to Froedert Hospital in Wauwatosa.
 
Steve Hummer was one of the first people on the scene. He had just loaded his boat into the water when the SUV came crashing down.
 
“I was parking my truck up on the hill and my wife screamed to me to call 911,” explained Hummer.
 
Hummer hopped in the boat and made his way to the vehicle.
 
“I saw the driver he was getting himself out of the vehicle. I saw a lot of blood.”
 
He wondered if everyone was out of the car. He quickly scanned the area and saw a woman floating facedown in the water nearby. At the same time, another boat of fisherman rounded the river’s corner.
 
“And this gentleman from Fond du Lac jumped out of the boat immediately and got this woman’s head out of the water and held her until there was help there.”
 
Okauchee Lake Fire Department Chief Tracy Steele said the men are heroes.
 
“That gentleman, he saved her life. It’s simple as that. He saved her life,” said Steele.
 
When rescuers arrived, Hummer helped shuttled them to the scene on his boat which they used to bring the woman to shore.
 
Medical helicopters waited above, rushing the man and woman to Froedert.
 
Chief Steele told TODAY’S TMJ4 they are lucky boaters were in the area.
 
For Steve Hummer and his wife, timing was key.
 
“A few minutes later we would have been right there where that care came crashing through.”
 
The Wisconsin State Patrol is doing a reconstruction of the scene.
 
There’s no word yet on what led to the crash.