N.Y. firefighters save 2 men whose truck plunged 20 feet into creek

Syracuse members used ladders, ropes and pulleys to complete the rescue in about an hour; AMR transported the men


James T. Mulder
syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It took Syracuse firefighters wearing life jackets and wet suits about an hour to rescue two men from a pickup truck that plunged down a 20-foot embankment into Onondaga Creek Saturday night.

The truck went into the east side of the creek after crashing through a fence near Berger Avenue.

Two adult men were calling for help when firefighters arrived on the scene at about 9:51 p.m.

Emergency crews had to cut through thick vines, trees and plants to get to the creek.

Members of the department’s rescue team used ladders to climb down the steep concrete embankment to the water.

The two men were trapped inside the heavily damaged truck, said James Farwell, a deputy chief.

Firefighters had to cut the driver’s side door off the vehicle to remove them.

Each of the men was placed in a basket and hauled out by firefighters using ropes and pulleys.

“It was a very intense scene,” Farewell said.

He said the department’s rescue team trains for these types of situations “which happen far and few between.”

The victims were lucky because the water was only about 2 feet deep, Farewell said. Had there been a rain storm and high water levels the truck could have flipped over.

Both men were taken to a hospital by AMR ambulance. Farewell did not release their identities or have information on their conditions. But he said their injuries were not life-threatening.

After the rescue, Big Red Towing with help from the fire department hauled the vehicle out of the creek.

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