UPDATE: The man who fled the scene of the crash has been caught. For the latest version of this story, visit https://kobi5.com/news/update-man-arrested-after-driving-into-river-leaving-pregnant-girlfriend-behind-deputies-say-186567/
HILLSBORO, Ore (KATU/CNN) – A woman is alive after the truck she was in fell down an embankment into a river near Portland, Oregon.
The deputies who rescued her say it started as a pursuit with a stolen vehicle.
KATU’s Deborah Knapp reports the woman told them she is pregnant.
It was a daring rescue all caught on a Washington County deputy’s body cam.
The whole ordeal began just after 2:00 a.m. on Minter Bridge Road near the Tualatin River.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Vargas said, “We were on our way to a crash when I saw just her standing outside of a vehicle.”
The woman said she was out of gas and her boyfriend was on his way to get more. But deputies say they quickly discovered the truck was stolen.
That’s when the truck took off into a field and down an embankment into the Tualatin River.
WCSO Corporal Daniel Lancaster explained, “It pretty much launched off the riverbank, maybe a 15-20 foot bank. And, we ran up to go assist. You could just see the back end of the pickup sticking up, the taillights were still on.”
The driver, a man, swam across to the other shore and ran off. A dog also escaped. But the woman, who said she was six months pregnant, yelled she couldn’t swim and started to float downriver.
One deputy jumped in after her while another threw a rescue rope. As they pulled her to safety, she can be heard questioning why the driver would leave her behind.
She was later taken to the hospital.
Her dog was found by animal control and is safe in their custody.
The driver, identified as 32-year-old Jonathan Laura, has not been caught.
The woman was not seriously hurt.