Sudbury man lives through river plunge

SUDBURY — A local man is lucky to be alive after he drove his truck off Route 73 and into the Otter Creek one morning last week.

Just before 6 a.m. on March 23, Brandon police responded to a report of an accident on Route 73 West involving a pickup truck that had driven off the roadway and into the Otter Creek. Police responded and learned that a 62-year-old man from Sudbury was traveling eastbound on the road toward Brandon on his way to a medical appointment.

Police said the man reported that wildlife on the edge of the road caught his eye and while glancing at it, he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway. The man said his truck drove off the road and across a field before striking a small tree and plunging into the Otter Creek.?The truck began to float in the river, which the driver said allowed him time to roll down his window, get out of the truck and start swimming to shore. Police said as he neared the shore, however, the driver clung to a tree because he had begun to lose his strength and couldn’t pull himself out of the water.

As fate, or luck, would have it, Dillon Quesnel was driving by when he noticed the taillights of the truck in the creek and stopped to help. The 29-year-old Brandon resident didn’t initially see the driver of the truck so he called out and was able to find him clinging to the tree on the shore. Quesnel then helped the older man out of the creek and transported him to the Brandon Police Station. The Chevy driver was then transported to the hospital for treatment for possible hypothermia and later released.

It took three hours to pull the late-model Chevy truck from the creek on that Wednesday afternoon. The truck was in the middle of the creek about 100 yards from where the crash took place, and was completely submerged in roughly eight feet of water. Logger and heavy equipment operator Tracy Wyman brought his skidder and worked with Jared Lowell and Joe Hartley from Thunder Towing in Leicester, as well as Scott Trask, to get the truck out of the creek.

“The Brandon Police Department is thankful for the efforts of all involved,” said Brandon Police Chief Chris Brickell, “and especially for the efforts of Dillon Quesnel, who as a Good Samaritan stopped and offered his assistance. The timing of all events was crucial to its successful outcome.”

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Addison County Independent

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