Driver rescued after plunging car into Housatonic River in Dalton

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DALTON — Bystanders helped a driver climb safely out of the Housatonic River on Saturday, after she veered off Main Street in Dalton, crossed a lane and yard, glanced off a wall and plunged into water.

The incident happened about 1 p.m. near the bridge beside Depot Street. The driver is believed to have walked away. Attempts to reach Dalton police to obtain information on the woman and her condition were unsuccessful Saturday. A Dalton officer responded to the scene.

Thomas Forfa was driving on Main Street and saw the woman's car cross the oncoming lane.

He said he saw her vehicle hit a curb after crossing the westbound lane, then plunge toward the river through a stand of trees and over a raised bank.

"She vaulted off that wall," Forfa said.

People out on a pleasant summer day gathered quickly, several of them assisting the woman.

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"People got there rapidly. It was minutes after it happened," Forfa said. "It was Saturday, so there were people out and about."

The woman's car stopped several feet from the river's edge, about 800 feet downstream of Center Pond.

"She was lucky she did not go further out, where it's deep," Forfa said.

People helped the driver get out of her vehicle, then assisted her in climbing the riverbank.

"She helped herself up the bank," Forfa said. He watched the rescue from the other side of the narrow river. "She didn't seem to be in that bad a shape."

The woman's car remained in the river Saturday afternoon, submerged up to its roof.


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