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Tuolumne River Rescue

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October 19, 2016
Edward Smith

Tuolumne River Rescue

Tuolumne River Rescue

I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto Personal Injury Attorney. Many people enjoy spending time at the river in the warm summer months. The water is beautiful to look at and refreshing when the sun is hot. In the fall and winter months, the river water cools even more and turns dangerous, as flow levels tend to increase. One man is thankful to be alive after falling into the Tuolumne River on Saturday October 15, 2016.

What Happened?

Modesto firefighters received a dispatch call on Saturday night around 11:00p.m. to the Tuolumne River, just passed the Seventh Street Bridge. Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department identified the man as Barney Wallace. It is not known at this time why Wallace was on the trestle. He fell more than 30 feet down into the cold frigid water. Wallace was clinging onto vegetation in the river in an attempt to stay above water and could not let go to safely swim to shore. Wallace was in the water fore more than an hour before he could be rescued.

Right Place at the Right Time

Stanislaus County sheriff Sergeant Bruce Mitchell was patrolling the area when he heard screams for help in the distance around the river. He quickly radioed into dispatch for backup. Four additional officers and firefighters arrived on the scene and joined Mitchell for the rescue efforts. The first responders could hear Wallace, but could not spot him in the dark water using their flashlights.

Rescue Efforts

Firefighters initially tried tossing ropes to Wallace. He was unable to grab on to them. After those efforts failed, firefighters went to the other side of the river and suited up in life jackets and swam to Wallace. The two firefighters attached a rope around Wallace and the three of them were safely pulled to shore by the ground crew. The rescue took approximately 20 minutes.

Were There Injuries?

Wallace was evaluated at the scene and was transported to an area hospital for further evaluation. His current condition is not currently known.

Modesto Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto Injury Attorney. If you have been injured due to the negligent acts of another party, please give me a call anytime at (209)227-1931 or toll-free at (800)404-5400 for fast, free and friendly advice.

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Source of Tuolumne River Rescue:

Photo Source: By Dick Witt (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons