Posted: Nov 27, 2012 1:42 PM by Cristy Aranguiz - MTN News
MISSOULA - A Missoula County mail carrier has to be thankful for three good Samaritans and that a creek wasn't very deep.
The unidentified woman in her 50s is lucky to be alive after her SUV rolled into Lolo Creek outside of Lolo on Monday afternoon.
The mail carrier was driving west along U.S. Highway 12 as part of her usual mid-afternoon route when, at around mile marker 18, something unexpected happened and her CRV plunged into the icy water.
"There was a rock lying in the road that the vehicle struck at which point it lost control, rotated, flipped up onto the guard rail and landed in the creek," Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Adam Gane explained.
The rock is believed to have been large enough to pop the tire of her SUV. The vehicle than fell about 40 feet and remained upside down in the water. The woman was trapped with no cell phone service, but lucky enough that three strangers came to the rescue.
"A couple passerbys saw the damage to the guard rail, thought there might be a crash, they turned around. It appears she was trapped in the vehicle honking the horn," Gane said.
The driver of one of the vehicles went to call 911 while two others remained here at the crash scene, went into the water, pulled the victim out and wrapped her in a sleeping bag.
The creek was partially covered in ice, but aside from the cold temperatures, the woman just had a few cuts and bruises.
But as the old saying goes, the mail must go through. Postal workers from Missoula and Lolo, along with law enforcement, retrieved the letters and catalogs through a broken window while what little mail that had floated away was also recovered.
The woman was taken to St. Patrick Hospital after the crash, but there's no word on her condition.