Dad arrested after girl swept away in flood water

Truck stuck at scene of rescue in Ste. Rose du Lac on April 29, 2013. Lorraine Nickel

WINNIPEG – Volunteer Firefighters in Ste Rose Du Lac are being hailed heroes after the amazing water rescue of a 12-year old girl and her father Saturday night.

And RCMP say the dad has been arrested and could face charges in the incident, after he allegedly disregarded a barricade and drove down the flooded road.

The man and his daughter were driving along a low lying road at 10 p.m. when they drove into flood waters.

The road usually floods this time of year but Saturday night it rose very quickly, neighbours say.

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The father’s Chevy pick up truck died after the engine flooded.

The 12-year old said she could swim across the road to get help but got swept away by the fast moving current. She managed to grab onto a tree and hung on for 45 minutes in the frigid cold water. Her dad found refuge on the roof of the truck.

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It was dark and the father didn’t know where his daughter was but a neighbour heard their screams and called 911.

When RCMP and fire crews arrived, they asked to use neighbour James Rath’s tractor to get the dad off the roof of the truck.

“He was in shock,” said Rath, “he had the windows down in his truck otherwise I don’t think they would have got out and their screams wouldn’t have been heard.”

Two local firefighters, who didn’t want to be named, tied ropes around themselves and walked into the neck deep water and rescued the girl.

She is recovering in Ste. Rose du lac hospital from scratches and hypothermia after her pants were swept away in the current, causing her to be injured by floating debris.


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