Two People Rescued Near Cortland, as Car Fills With Water

Two People Rescued Near Cortland, as Car Fills With Water
Photo: Gage County Sheriff's Office

BEATRICE – Cortland Fire personnel were able to pull two persons from a vehicle that was filling up with water, after going off a U.S. Highway in northern Gage County, during snowy conditions Saturday morning.

Gage County Sheriff’s investigators say the car, driven by 41-year-old Bobbie Rodriguez, of Beatrice, was traveling north on U.S. Highway 77, when her vehicle slid off the east side of the highway and into a ditch.   The vehicle landed nose-down in a small creek, a half- mile south of East Aspen Road.

Rodriguez called authorities at 7:54 a.m., Saturday, to say her 2008 Toyota Scion had slid off the highway, and that the interior of the car was filling with water.  The driver could only give a description of between Cortland and Filley, on U.S. Highway 77.

Dispatchers from Southeast Communications in Beatrice were able to triangulate the 9-1-1- call made from a cell phone and relay the information to sheriff’s investigator Tim Hanson, who was in the area.

:32                  “be right there”

The investigator found the vehicle stuck in a creek at a 45-degree angle, and the frigid water had already covered the driver’s legs just below the knee.  He said Rodriguez was able to roll down the window and talk with him.

:12                  “immersed”

Cortland Fire officials were summoned and used extrication equipment to remove the driver and a passenger in her 40s, from the flooding vehicle.

:16                  “into the water”

Both women were taken to Bryan LGH West Medical Center in Lincoln for treatment of exposure.  Hanson says neither woman suffered any physical injuries from the collision.   Hanson credited Cortland Fire personnel for what he called outstanding efforts in rescuing the pair.

Several inches of snow had fallen overnight.   Both occupants of the car had been wearing seatbelts and slick highway conditions were a factor in the accident.

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