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Amputee driver rescued after driving truck into marina, officials say

Bay Shore Fire Department rescue workers lift a

Bay Shore Fire Department rescue workers lift a pickup truck that had been driven into the Bay Shore Marina on Friday night by a Pennsylvania man who is an amputee. Credit: Bay Shore Fire Department / Kevin Butler

Rescue workers saved a Pennsylvania man who is an amputee after he drove his pickup truck into the Bay Shore Marina on Friday night, officials said.

The man's black Ford F-150 pickup fell into the water when he drove it off a section of a dock on South Clinton Avenue in Bay Shore shortly before 10 p.m., according to Chief Kevin Butler, of the Bay Shore Fire Department. The 60-year-old man's name was not released.

Butler said the man, who had one leg amputated below the knee, was in the driver’s seat when emergency crews arrived. The front of the truck was underwater and the back end was sticking out of the water, Butler said.

Roy Ekelund Jr., 31, a rescue diver and first assistant chief with the Bay Shore Fire Department, said divers were able to open the driver’s door while underwater, use scissors to cut the seat belt to remove the driver and place him into a special stokes basket — used to transport a victim over terrain — that helped them lift the man onto the dock.

While the fire department’s diving team rescued the driver, emergency crews secured the pickup with a winch rope from a rescue truck.

The rescue went more quickly because the truck had not overturned, Butler said.

"Another inch or two and that car would have been completely overturned in the water, so he was certainly lucky to make it out the way that he did," Butler said.

Ekelund, a member of the department’s diving crew for nearly 10 years, said responders took extra precautions when they discovered the driver was an amputee.

"We didn’t know what other medical issues we had, so we wanted to make sure we handled it with the utmost care," Ekelund said. First responders later removed a set of crutches and canes from the truck, Ekelund added.

The driver, who Butler described as being "basically semiconscious" when first responders tried to talk to him later, was taken to South Shore University Hospital for treatment.

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