It took two searches and a cell-phone call for help from an accident victim for Johnstown firefighters and police to locate the man in an overgrown area at the bottom of a river wall.

The driver – whose identity was not immediately available – was brought up from the river on a board in a rope rescue by city firefighters early Thursday. He was transported to Memorial Medical Center.

The accident happened around 10 p.m. Wednesday night when the car, which was traveling on Osborne Street near Central Avenue hit a utility pole, police Capt. Andy Frear said.

The car drifted into the adjacent Lamar Advertisting parking lot, and witnesses, who called Cambria 911, said that the driver got out of the vehicle and fled the scene.

Authorities were concerned that he may have been injured and gone into the nearby Stonycreek River and started searching for the driver.

In that area, the concrete river wall is not sloped, but goes straight down, Assistant Fire Chief Chris Selfridge said.

Firefighters, using a thermal imaging camera, determined on the first search that nobody was down in the river bed.

Then, shortly after 2 Thursday morning, the apparently disoriented man, using his cell phone, called 911 for help, reporting he was in a woody, brush area, Selfridge said.

Within three minutes after arriving back at the scene, the firemen were able to locate the driver, the assistant chief said.

“We don’t know how he got down there. He was not there the first time we searched,” he said.

The city police are continuing an investigation, Frear said.

Trending Video

Recommended for you