Teen Saved After Vehicle Lands In Cattaraugus Creek

GOWANDA — While at Dayton’s Pagett Farm barn fire since 10:08 a.m. on Route 62, Gowanda Fire Chief Nick Crassi got another call around 2 p.m. today.

There was a 19-year-old female in her vehicle floating down Cattaraugus Creek.

Crassi said that her vehicle went over a steep section of the creek’s bank. The fire chief and members of the Lake Erie Beach Volunteer Fire Department left the Dayton fire to rescue the female.

The driver was in communication with dispatch as her vehicle was filling up. Crassi said she did not open any windows or doors as the Sports Utility Vehicle was submerged in water on the 36-degree day. The vehicle was behind the parking lot at Shop’N Save when they arrived.

“Thank God (the vehicle) stayed up right and floated up down near (Creekside) Park,” Crassi added. “So, we had to send our water rescue team and we figured out a plan and rescued her from the vehicle. The vehicle filled up with water and the team saved her.”

She was taken by the Seneca Nation of Indians Ambulance to Erie County Medical Center to treat the signs of hypothermia and effects of being in the chilling water.

“She’s so fortunate,” he added. “She went down a steep part of the parking lot. She could have easily rolled over. I think her guardian angel was looking after her.”