Two women rescued from flooded vehicle

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

A helicopter lands to take Holly Chastain, 34, Salem, to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment of severe hypothermia after she and Sara Smith, 35, Salem, spent the night in a flooded vehicle on Spurgeon School Road in Monroe Township.

Rescuers from Monroe Township Fire Department and the Driftwood Township Fire Department in Jackson County, shown wearing the red cold water rescue suit, help Chastain from the freezing water Wednesday morning.

Two rescuers, Steve Mowdy and Jeremy Burcham, from Driftwood Township in Jackson County put their new cold water rescue suit to use. They said their department had recently undergone cold water rescue training.

Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, Sara Smith, 35, Salem, and Holly Chastain, 34, Salem, drove down Spurgeon School Road, east of Mt. Eden, to check on the high water in the area. Unfortunately, they found it, too late to escape. Their vehicle became stuck in the high water and Smith and Chastain were trapped. They were without a cell phone and decided to stay in the vehicle overnight.

When morning came, the women decided to try and make it to a nearby home to call for help. Smith made it, but Chastain had to be rescued from waist-deep water near the car.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived with Monroe Township Fire Department and Driftwood Township Fire Department (out of Jackson County), where they found Chastain about a quarter mile north of where the vehicle was located. First responders used a large military vehicle to get to Chastain and bring her to Washington County EMTs, who had arrived. They treated both Smith and Chastain and Chastain was airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital for further treatment of severe hypothermia. Smith refused further treatment.


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