Trucker pulls 82-year-old woman from Klamath River


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Trucker pulls 82-year-old woman from Klamath River
San Francisco Chronicle, USA
A Yreka trucker is being hailed as a hero after pulling an 82-year-old woman from the rain-swollen Klamath River.

Rick Tower, 40, was driving east Wednesday on Highway 96 with a load of wood chips when he saw a car fishtail and fly into the river.

Tower said he slammed on his brakes, ran down to the river, swam out to the car and grabbed the driver, Dorothy Knudsen of Happy Camp, who was yelling for help.

"The current had the car and it was swinging it around," Tower said. "At one point, I was praying. I thought, 'Dear God, I'm going to have to let her go.' But then I gave her a tug and felt her come out a bit. I gave her another tug and she came out."

The driver of a pickup truck who also stopped threw a rope to Tower, helping him get back to shore with Knudsen.

"Good thing, too," Tower said. "I was huffin' and puffin' pretty good."

Knudsen suffered a sprained or broken ankle and a mild case of hypothermia, the California Highway Patrol said.

CHP Officer Trenton Willis said Tower's actions were heroic.

"There's no way this lady — I mean, she's 82 years old — could have swam out of there, especially if her ankle does turn out to be broken," Willis said.
sfgate article

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