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Emergency crews rescue man in Verdigris River

Posted at 6:47 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 23:59:40-05

ROGERS COUNTY, Okla.  — Emergency crews rescued a man from the Verdigris River in Rogers County early Friday morning.

The driver was traveling westbound on Will Rogers Turnpike at the Verdigris River when he slid off the road and fell into the river.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the 26-year-old man managed to climb a bridge abutment and pull himself to safety.

The man was taken to the hospital, and he is expected to be okay. Fire Rescue Crews said he is lucky to be alive.

"Crews when they reached them on that level, they said he was very very cold and had fallen down several times and was certainly showing signs of deterioration,” said Andrew Little, public information officer with the Tulsa Fire Department.

Unfortunately, not every search rescue ends with a safe recovery. Just last December, 13-year-old Rylan Harris was swept away by the frigid waters. That's why Little is reminding people that bodies of water can turn very dangerous, especially with temperatures dropping below freezing.

Little said water rescues in winter weather pose a serious danger to both the public and first responders.

"We're trained to deal with things like this, we're happy to do it, but we would rather not be in water if we could avoid it," he said.

Crews said the rescue was tricky because of the winter weather conditions. They used a rappel system to rescue him.


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