Officers save woman trapped in water after hit-and-run rollover crash

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ByWill Jones via WLS logo
Monday, November 27, 2017
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An Indiana State Trooper and a sheriff's deputy helped save a woman trapped in high water after her car rolled into a ditch.

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- An Indiana State Trooper and a Lake County Sheriff's deputy helped save a woman trapped in her car in high standing water after it rolled into a ditch.

Around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, a 42-year-old woman was driving a red 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier east in the right lane on I-80 in Gary, Indiana, when her vehicle was rear-ended by another vehicle, state police said. The crash caused the woman's vehicle to spin off the roadway.

The Cavalier rolled several times and came to rest on its top in waist-deep water, state police said.

The driver of the other vehicle took off from the scene.

"When I walked up to the vehicle it was completely submerged and I could hear the occupant yelling," said Indiana State Police Trooper William Carlson.

Indiana State Trooper William Carlson and Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Raymond Borchert, Jr. decided to go in to rescue the woman.

"We took off our duty belts and placed them in a safe location and we entered the water," said Trooper Carlson. "I didn't really realize how cold it was because of adrenaline was going, I was more concerned about trying to get her out."

"The driver's side was pretty beat up, the passenger side was pretty much intact, so we try to see if she could get to the back of the vehicle to be able to break a window to get her out," said Lake County Sheriff's Department Deputy Raymond Borchert, Jr.

But they quickly ruled out that option for her safety.

"Gary fire ended up showing up on scene and used the Jaws of Life to pry open the door and at that point we were able to pull her from the car and get her on a stretcher and get her to a hospital," said Borchert.

"She was very quiet, cold, as you would expect," said Carlson.

As for the two officers, they stood on the highway in their wet uniforms in the cold after the rescue.

"We just looked at each other and said good job and we grabbed our stuff and we went back to work investigating the crash," said Carlson.

"We signed up for this job to serve and protect. I will put my life on the line to help somebody who needs help. At that time, I was more concerned for her safety than mine," said Borchert.

The victim was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary where she was treated for injuries in the crash.

Police are still looking for the driver involved in the hit-and-run crash.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.