Out of the sauce and into the Fryingpan
A driver who apparently backed into the Fryingpan River had to be assisted Friday by a swift-water rescue team from the Basalt Fire Department.
The driver wasn’t injured, according to Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson, but he was “incapacitated.” The man admitted to drinking a significant amount of alcohol, Thompson said.
The Fire Department received a call from emergency dispatchers at 1:41 p.m. of a vehicle partially submerged in the Fryingpan River 4 miles east of Basalt, with the driver still in the pickup. Thompson said responders feared it was a car crash with an injured person unable to get out of the car.
They found a small pickup with the front end 3 to 4 feet from the bank with the water up to the bottom of the door. Under normal circumstances, a person probably could have gotten out of the vehicle and to the shore, Thompson said, but this wasn’t a normal circumstance.
“He wasn’t able to walk,” Thompson said.
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Two members of the swift-water rescue team entered the water and assisted him to shore. The man was transported to a local hospital because he wasn’t able to care for himself and the case was turned over to the Colorado State Patrol, according to Thompson.
The man’s identity and details of the accident weren’t immediately available from the state patrol. Thompson said it appeared the pickup came from a driveway on the north side of Fryingpan Road and entered the river on the south side of the road.
“It appears he backed into the river,” he said.
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U.S. Forest Service officials in the Roaring Fork Valley say prescribed burns must play a bigger role in public land management.