Pend Oreille County Deputy Saves Woman Who Fell Through Ice - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pend Oreille County Deputy Saves Woman Who Fell Through Ice

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PEND OREILLE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pend Oreille County Deputy plunged into the freezing waters of the Pend Oreille River Thursday morning to save a 60-year-old woman who fell through the ice.

Pend Oreille County Dispatch received the call just after 9:00am, when a person said they could hear someone yelling for help across the river. Deputy Steve Beery and Pend Oreille County Sheriff Alan Botzheim immediately responded to the area, however while en-route, Sheriff's Botzheim's vehicle was hit by a logging truck that failed to yield. The collision didn't damage Sheriff's Botzheim's car too bad. The side passenger mirror was ripped off, but due to the life-threatening nature of the call on the river, the Sheriff had no time to stop and identify the truck or driver.

Deputy Beery arrived at the river just before 9:30am and found a woman in the water clinging to ice. The woman had been in the cold water for at least 22 minutes and lacked any strength to move. After getting a rope and some life vests, Deputy Beery removed his uniform, tied the rope around his waist and quickly went out on the ice to get the woman. As Deputy Beery tried to pull the woman from the water, the ice broke and he plunged into the freezing water. Sheriff Botzheim pulled on the rope from shore as Deputy Beery pushed the woman up on the ice, which broke again.

After several tries, the ice held and the woman was carried into her home by both Deputy Beery and Sheriff Botzheim. Medics soon arrived and took the woman to the hospital. We are told she is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 60-year-old woman, who is actually a retired Pend Oreille County Dispatcher, told Deputy Beery and Sheriff Botzheim that she had gone out onto the ice to get one of her dogs when the ice broke and she fell in.

The condition of the dog is unknown at this time, but a press release sent out on Thursday afternoon indicated there were no other victims.
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