Longview Police officers helped a Longview area man escape his vehicle after he suffered a medical event and unintentionally drove into Lake Sacajawea on Tuesday morning.
The accident was first reported at 6:41 a.m., when a 911 caller reported that an SUV had driven into the lake between Northeast Nichols Boulevard and Kessler Boulevard.
The 44-year-old driver was headed eastbound on Ocean Beach Highway when he suffered a medical event resembling a seizure, which apparently caused him to veer off the road toward the lake, clipping a city light pole and driving through an iron fence and over a cement culvert before coming to rest with the front end of the vehicle in the water, Longview PD Sgt. Chris Blanchard said.
Officers arrived on scene and removed the driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, and aid crews rendered medical assistance on scene, according to Longview Fire Battalion Chief Eric Koreis and Blanchard. Witnesses on scene said the driver had been going the speed limit and didn’t seem to have any problems with driving before careening into the lake.
An officer noted the victim sustained a minor injury from the collision but no other information was available on his condition in the initial report of the crash, Blanchard said. The victim was taken to St. John Medical Center. He did not remember anything about the incident except for waking up in the ambulance, Blanchard said, and an update on his condition wasn’t immediately available.
It took at least a couple of hours for officials to pull the vehicle from the lake, but it had been removed by 10 a.m., Blanchard said. A tow truck carrying a vehicle resembling the reported vehicle left the lake at around 8:50 a.m.
Local Parks, Stormwater and Ecology officials stayed on scene to assess any environmental damage from the crash, and deployed a surface boom to absorb a small oil slick that had developed in the water.
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