When Leah Manche’s car veered into the Mississippi River in Moline early Monday, a police officer happened to be nearby and spotted her taillights on the water.

Despite the almost-instant discovery of the accident, no attempt was made to rescue the 28-year-old East Moline woman from her sinking car. Her body was recovered by a dive team more than five hours after the accident.

Rich Clark, a dive master who happens to live directly across River Drive from where Manche’s car entered the water, was told by police he could not attempt a rescue. Even though most of the car was out of the water and near the shoreline when his barking dogs alerted him to the wreck, Clark was told to stay away.

Two days after the accident, tears came to his eyes as he told of the frustration of standing by while the car disappeared under the water.

“They told me it was not a rescue but a recovery,” Clark said Wednesday. “They told me it was most likely stolen. They said people dump cars in the river all the time. There was no license plate (the car was new to Manche).

“There’s a question that everyone should be asking: Why didn’t anyone try to rescue her?”

The day after the accident, Deputy Fire Chief Ike Sederstrom was asked that question.

“It’s pretty much a self-rescue situation,” he said. “Even if the fire station is a block away, the chances of getting down there, getting to a person in the vehicle, in 40-degree water, in those conditions, is pretty slim.”

He described conditions on the river early Monday as cold, windy, choppy and dangerous.

When the fire department was notified by police, Sederstrom said, there was no mention of a body in the river or in the car. However, he said, first responders to a vehicle-in-the-river call treat every situation as if a person also could be involved.

He said the city’s rescue boat circled the area of the submerged car for about an hour, marking its location for the volunteer divers who were asked to perform a daylight recovery of the red Pontiac Grand Prix.

“We surveyed the area to make sure no one was in the water,” he said. “When we found no one, we concentrated on finding the vehicle.”

Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn said her department would have been in a similar situation.

“We do not have a dive team,” she said. “All we can do, if someone is in the water, we can pull them onto a boat. If it (a vehicle) is two feet off shore, our people could be held by a rescue line, but they can’t perform a rescue in the river because they don’t have training.”

To attempt to pull someone from a submerged or sinking vehicle, Washburn said, firefighters would have to be certified divers, equipped with weights, air tanks and specialized underwater equipment for getting inside a vehicle.

Clark, who is a certified rescue diver with experience in icy water, said he understands the danger in attempting a rescue in a situation like the one he encountered right outside his front door.

“I have a lot of respect for police and firefighters and for those divers,” he said. “Someone could drown attempting a rescue like that.

“My plan was to try to jump onto the car and break the back window out. It would have equaled out the water inside the car and created an escape route. There’s a chance I would have been sucked through the window from the flow of the water going in, but I was willing to take that risk.

“I believe I would have been able to get out. I had all my gear. I was only 10 feet away.”

Moline police were asked a series of questions Wednesday, regarding the department’s response to the accident, including why police assumed the car was stolen, when they realized it was occupied and why Clark was not permitted to act.

Department spokesman Detective Scott Williams replied, “The police officer who found the vehicle in the river and initiated the call for other units was right to be concerned about the safety of the citizen who wanted to take on such a dangerous act in the Mississippi River under the conditions present.”

He said a review of the emergency response by the police department was found to be appropriate.

Clark said it seems to him something more could have been done. But he also is aware any efforts could have been dangerous.

He also pointed out that some drowning victims have been resuscitated after being under cold water for more than an hour, because their organs are sustained by the low temperature.

“I know I need to accept what happened, but I just wanted to try,” he said. “I could’ve easily gotten hurt. I’m sure it would be even scarier for the police who were there who don’t have any dive training.”

His wife, Gail, said she cannot shake the image of the car bobbing on the surface of the water. She placed flowers at the scene and said she would like to go to Manche’s funeral.

“It’s still in my head, and I hate it,” she said. “It’s so upsetting, and I didn’t even know her. I watched that car sink. It took six minutes to sink, and I know that, because I looked at the clock.

“It was terrible.”

Told of the Moline and Davenport fire departments’ explanations they have no gear or training for attempting vehicle-in-the-river rescues, Rich Clark shook his head.

“Everyone I know who has a car is getting a center punch for Christmas,” he said. “It’s just tragic, you know?”

A center punch is a pick-like steel tool.

The accident is still under investigation, and the cause of death will be determined at a coroner’s inquest in January. Manche had an 11-year-old daughter.

An autopsy was not performed, and toxicology results are pending.

(46) comments


I see everybody on here arguing about the police and ignorance of each other but in all honesty i have never been so hurt while reading comments and the article! It took me almost two years for me to actually read this.. why? Because losing my sister was one of the hardest things I've ever been through!!! I have never been so hurt. Rip sissy


Blame the cops if you want. Blame the bystander. Blame no-one. Blame the lack of guardrails. Blame a higher power. Blame the lack of lighting. Blame the lack of signage. Decide it is fate. Blame the lack of training. Blame the victim. I've heard it all before, and yet, there is another woman dead another child loses a parent. I have not checked, but she is probably the first of the year to die this way and there will be about 400 more vehicle immersion deaths due to entrapment in 2013. How do I know? Because it has been going on for decades. The comments here are among thousands that I have read in the past 13 years and they have not changed a bit. NOT ONE BIT! The one brilliant thing said after this event is that this is a self-rescue situation. 97 percent of all people that end up inside their car as it goes into water survive. This is mostly because they get themselves out. Those that die are those that are trapped inside the vehicle. 13 years, and over 6000 deaths ago. I started to publicize a cheap and effective solution. Head of DOT Ray LaHood defriended me on Facebook. Head of NHTSA, David Strickland won't answer my requests by email or take my calls. If all goes as scheduled, the reporter that wrote this will move on and not contact me, this little rant will be ignored as well and tomorrow someone else will die. Probably in Florida. http://www.escapetip.blogspot.com/ As a bonus, you can expect one of your TV stations to roll a reporter into the drink to show how scary it is and how to get out. (Google "how to escape a sinking car" and hit video) It has ALL BEEN DONE BEFORE! Year after year, death after death. Until we provide a glass break tool inside the cabin, death comes daily from this senseless dance we continue to do. Cynical, yes I am.


Ill bet those cops would have been beating the back window out of that car had it been another police officer in there.

All these cops are good for is taking money from people through writing tickets and arrests, which Im amazed they have the guts to do, considering they wont even get their clothes wet to find out if someone is drowning.

The mississippi river is at drought levels and all along ben butterworth parkway, the water level is between 5-12 deep. there is no current.

lets talk about the 40 degree water, well it was 41 degrees that weekend , i know because i was up to my waist in it on and off all day long.

I have a hard time believing someones life is in danger by getting wet and cold for a couple minutes, heck up in minnesota the old farts 70 and older polar bear club take a dip pretty frequently, that water is in the low 30's.

The police and fire dept of this entire quad cities sure as heck dont hesitate to stand in the middle of an intersection to collect money at rush hour, but will hesitate to take a cold dip in the water just to make sure someone isnt going to drown.
The moline police dept should be ashamed of their self for not trying to save that girl or at least step aside and let someone who has the courage and the experience to give it a shot.

Shame,Shame, Shame.

On a side note, if the moline police officers would shut their cars off instead of letting them run when not in use, they could probably afford some dive equipment and some diving lessons.

I watched two moline police officers walk around sylvan slough island for 45 minutes and let their cars run the whole time. must not have wanted to get into cold cars.

what a joke they are.

I dont feel sorry for writing this either, its all the truth, they are a disgrace.


Moliner how do you like your crow cooked? Not to long ago I do recall two off duty and one retired moline policemen apprehending a burglary suspect and i dnt think there was a car around for them to hide behind...strange As far as them leaving there cars running they have to because if they didnt it would drain the battery.


To all of you that say "shame on that office", SHAME ON YOU! How can you judge someone when you were not there and in that situation? Clearly Department and Fire and Rescue stand behind his decision to not risk his own life. Yes it is frustrating that a family lost their daughter, mother, sister but that officer has to live with seeing that car and know that there was nothing he could do that would end up with a perfect ending. With those water conditions it would be two families planning funerals instead of one. Officers risk their lives every day for people in all sort of situations. Just because this situation didn't end up all rainbows and hearts gives none of you the right to judge. Maybe next time you can go risk your life for a stranger in a lose lose situation.


you dont know what your talking about, the water down there is like a kiddy pool, no danger at all, maybe a case of the sniffles.

these cops aint heros, they are money collectors, they are only driven by arrests and convictions, they wont risk a hair on their rear ends for anyone. show me 1 article of a moline police officer risking his life for anyone and ill eat crow.

look how they hide behind cars till they get the all clear signal, lol. they are a bunch of smucks.


Last time I checked that car was SUBMERGED. Kiddie pools aren't that deep. Go for a swim out there and let me know how it works out for ya.


I'm calling BULLS__T on Mr. Clark's story. He sure didn't try very hard to do anything, but is taking all of this glory for wanting to be a hero. He could have gone in that water if he really wanted to.

Also, I'm amazed at the ignorance of a lot of you people. You watch waaaay too much TV. It's quite apparent that you've never been in water that cold...let alone 40 degree water with swift current in the middle of the night. You act like the officer should have just stripped out of his uniform and dove right in to that water. Had he done that, there would have been two fatalities that sad night. 40 degree water incapacitates you almost instantly without the proper protection.

Anyone who claims they could have done better, I challenge you to go sit in the river for 3 minutes in just a bathing suit, and then try and swim 40+ feet carrying an extra 120 pounds. I'll be sure to comment on your drowning article.

So, instead of trying to blame the officer, why don't you focus your energies on the city council? We live in a city sandwiched between two rivers, yet the city does not have a rescue dive team on either the police or fire departments. We have a bomb squad, but no dive team. Which do you think would get more use? Blows my mind.


this is one sorry a-- cop. He should be a nightwatchman at a daycare.


I guess the motto to serve and protect did not apply here. It’s been replaced by assumptions. This cop is not someone I’d want to have to rely on. The person in that car could have had any number of medical issues take place that resulted in her car going into the river. Every effort should have been made to definitively determine if someone was in the submerged car. Shame on the police officer, he should be fired.


From my viewpoint.....bad cop! He said it himself " it's probably a stolen car". Translate that
If we don't help the car thief it will be their last stolen car!
That is solely my own opinion. The cop needs fired. Not letting the very person who gets the call later on to do the recovery not attempt a rescue? The dist fire chief...resign for your comments. Chief Washburn resign for your comments. Very untrue and unprofessional. If they are true sell the rescue boats and no more cold water rescue training to be done. We all know this is being done and why do it if you don't do it. Stop wasting city monies and resources by training for it.
I would not want to be in that cops shoes legally. If he had morals or a conscious he would resign because how could you ever be able to trust yourself on the street again to maybe have to make a life/death decision again


sound like you are any expret diver Twam911 great feed back


I usually back the police, but this officer was WRONG. That woman could've been saved. Instead, she suffered a slow death all because one officer believed and only believed it was an abandoned car.


Klaatu. you can only assume that Leah was impaired because toxicology reports have not been released yet. So please refrain from posting a statement such as this until the results are in. It serves no purpose to assume anything & only upsets the family of Leah to read such assumptions. What was reported in the paper was only very preliminary. Not all persons on the road in the early morning hours are impaired. Leah's hours of employment frequently resulted ending in the early morning hours. I am not saying that she was not impaired but I highly doubt it. Time & toxicology reports will determine that. Please pray for the family & not assume anything!

Rusty Shakelford
Rusty Shakelford

This is the reason I teach my kiddos to avoid the police. The police hurt people and enjoy watching others suffer. The old days of officer Al the Kiddies pal are LONG GONE. The dregs of society are now the ones with badges. This officer needs to be brought up on criminal charges.


The fact is it is easy to sit behind a computer and say why didn't they do this or that or I would have done this or that. This was real life not the movies. None of us were there,we don't know the circumsatnces, all we see and hear is from the news, and what I've read is planting the seed of doubt in minds that our officers and rescue workers don't do all they possibly can while trying to control the scene and prevent more deaths/injuries. I pray for the family of Leah, the officer who stood helplessly on shore only to learn later that there was a person in the vehicle, and Mr. Clark. Why is it that days after every tragic event someone has to write something asking why wasn't anything done. You haven't seen the police report or heard the outcome of the finished investigation or even a statement from the officer yet. I think it would have been best if this article had been held off on unitl some more information came out, my opinion is that if this was the case there wouldn't be an article asking "why nothing was done"


Never trust a cop to do the right thing!


Bull. The cop did exactly the right thing. The car was much further into the channel than the photos show. It was pitch black, when the officer arrived the car had settled. There were no air bubbles coming up, the water was still around the car. There were no plates showing. He had no specific knowledge that anyone was in the car. The chances of someone being alive at that point were extremely slim. Escaping from a submerged car in daylight in warm weather are low. In those conditions it would almost impossible. I saw a Top Gear episode where they set up the same situation in a tank with no current and perfect visibility to illustrate the difficulty of escaping a submerged vehicle. The host had an air supply and divers standing by to aid him. He could not free himself from the vehicle in perfect circumstances. We are lucky this woman didn't hit someone head on and kill an innocent victim. She shouldn't have been driving impaired and speeding down that road.


The police officer did the right thing here. For himself or even the diver to enter the Mississippi River in those conditions would have most likely resulted in more death. The officer did not put the car in the river, the driver did. I'm sure he was horrified that he could not do anything to help her. He also could NOT allow a civilian, no matter what their training is, to enter the water under those conditions. The police CANNOT allow civilians to put themselves in harms way under their authority, so stop condemning him for something he was NOT allowed to do!! If he had, and the civilian perished, you would have been most likely fired, possibly prosecuted, and the city of Moline would be successfully sued for a large sum of money. Then all you people posting with your emotions instead of your brain would be chastising him for not stopping the civilian. People need to stop blaming the police for doing what they had to do in situations like this. I feel bad for the you lady and her family, but the fault lies with her. Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Mark Riley 4 State Senate
Mark Riley 4 State Senate

If there is no violation of law or ordinance than the officer was wrong. That logic assumes that if the woman had a family member following in another car that her father would not have been allowed to jump in and save his daughter. If it was my son in the car and the officer had attempted me from enter the water it indeed would have resulted in more death. I probably would lose my permit to carry card for shooting a policeman. This is the same broken and misplaced logic that declares that the public school has the primary safety of my child even when I am on the premises and want to take him home. It may have been the right choice to strongly urge not to enter the water but threat of arrest or pulling out the badge was out of line. By their own testimony the police had no expert on the scene and that means they are no more knowledgeable than this trained diver.


The officer had no knowledge of a person in the car and could not see one from his point on shore. If he knew 100% someone was in the car things would most likley have been different. Mr. Clark was told not to go in the water not cuffed or detained. And to shoot somone for protecting you only makes things much worse. Thats exactly why Mr. Calrk was denied entrance to the water, untrained people do crazy things in frantic situations. Sometimes wheather we like to admit it or not things are just completley out of our control.

Mark Riley 4 State Senate
Mark Riley 4 State Senate

The officer is not a site commander no martial law was declared you don't get to roll up with your badge and declare martial law when no crime is being committed. I lost a Marine to a cold water drowning in Bridgeport Ca. during a one rope bridging operation over a mountain river in June of 95-96. The rope was tied off improperly and loosened under the 3rd Marine across who was pulling himself along suspended by a carabiner and rappel seat. He was sucked under the water a foot below the surface at the apex of the span tied in to the rope. Despite marines yelling to cut the rope the instructor yelled at him to pull him self up and out of the water with 70 lbs of wet gear and a SAW strapped around his chest. When the instructor cut the rope because he stopped moving he floated face down towards a series of falls. He was grabbed by PFC HOPT who ignored orders to stay out of the water. Hopt was grabbed by 3 other Marines who flung themselves into the river grabbing Hopt who held onto the body of LCpl DeClute. Hopt was later awarded the highest medal for civilian actions and given the Keys to Des Moines by its Mayor. He later joined the Army and was awarded a bronze star for flying helo's in Iraq. Sacrifice and valor are exactly that because its not normal and its not logical nor is it safe. Lcpl DeClute was under water or face down in it for 16mins and was revived by Ist Sgt Dennis Jones a Des Moines firefighter. He was eating cheese burgers in the BAS 4 hours later

Mark Riley 4 State Senate
Mark Riley 4 State Senate

I can tell you with my swimming ability I would not have needed to be told to stay put of the water but if it was my son you could not have kept me out. The decision to keep people out of the water is a military decision to minimise loss of life for the completion of a mission. This is not the military and not that policeman's yard river or mission, and neither should it have been his decision. When the cop gave an order to stay out it became law and most of us follow the law on our first instinct.

Comment deleted.

I must say, I read this with a real sense of horror and anger, and questioned the police's actions. Then I looked back at the byline. I thought, "wow, I wish a real reporter would have done this story. Then I'd have a pretty good idea of what happened." Barb starts with the opinion, then does the story.

This isn't an op ed about some little cry baby who's unhappy with the mail man; this is a news story. Put a news reporter on it.

just another girl

This is a tragedy and this story doesn't help anyone in anyway. Leah would have been my daughters step-mom...reading this has given me nightmares about her being alive inside that car. Sometimes when all else is lost people have nothing but hope and prayers. Hope and prayers that Leah didn't know what was happening and that she passed w/out suffering...all this story has done is crush the hope that some many have...

Comment deleted.

Well said Starman! I stopped subscribing to the Quad City Times years ago because of Barb Ickes slanted views on journalism. She obviously does not like police or fire personnel. Being a first responder often means doing things you don't like and seeing things that will haunt you for life. For the officers on scene, the firemen, the witnesses and Leah's family and friends this is a tragedy. Yes, First Responders are sworn to uphold the laws and save lifes. Sometimes it is just not possible.The city would have been found liable if they allowed Mr. Clark to attempt a rescue. My heart and prayers go out to everyone that was on scene that night. May God Bless them all.


The shocking part of this article is that we live in an area surrounded by the river and we do not have a dive team in place for situations such as this? I don't get it. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Leah.


Such a sad story and tragic outcome. My late husband was a Divemaster with Rescue training and I can certainly understand Mr. Clark's frustration. Considering that there were people at the scene watching this unfold it is very troubling to think it took hours for any attempt to check this car for a victim. When I worked in downtown Dayton Ohio where the Greater Miami River runs through I used to watch the Dayton Fire and Police practice rescues on a regular basis where there was not only river currents to deal with but a dam and sometimes they would repel off the bridge, this was great entertainment over my lunch hour, but maybe this incident here can be the thing to open the discussion that such services are needed here. If we don't have personnel on our rescue teams who can be on the river in minutes, maybe we should. Hopefully the officer who witnessed this was following procedures set in place not to let anyone else get in the river, My prayers to the family of Leah and those who had to watch her drown right in front of them.

Mark Riley 4 State Senate
Mark Riley 4 State Senate

A different perspective. We cannot stop someone from eating themselves to death, drinking themselves to death or gambling their wages and children's inheritance away. We cant stop a woman from killing her baby. we cant stop someone from turning their lungs black with tar from cigarettes and neither should we able to stop the God-given right of free-will decisions to self destruct. BUT some public bureaucrats presumes to stop the sane, educated logical decision from someone to risk their God given life in an attempt to save their fellow citizen. The thought process and decision making matrix that lead to this ban on a human response is dangerous to society in general, is contrary to the values we wish to impart to our society and reflects a moral cancer with in our local government bureaucracy.


Unfortunately for Mr. Clark, he's grieving because he felt like he could have done more. I wonder why he's blaming the officer now? Obviously at the time of the incident he obeyed the directive to not go in after the victim. If he felt that strongly about it he should have just done what he felt was right. I doubt they had him detained and there's no way they had the whole area barricaded...I'm guessing he could have figured out a way to go in if he really wanted to. Too bad he is having to live with regret and displacing his emotion on police officers. They make tough, split second decisions everday. Right or wrong they have to live with the consequences. But you never see articles in the paper about them grieving over what they could have done differently. Poorly written, biased, and anti-police as usual from Ms. Ickes. Condolences to the family of Ms. Manche for their loss.


I'm tired of this type of pointless, sensational journalism. Where is the story here? The guy across the street saw it happen and there was nothing that could be done. Why sensationalize it and put the family through this, Ms. Ickes? This "story" brings forth no evidence, no substantive fact, merely subliminal questions. As someone who has been through similar circumstances, the family will ask "what if" for the rest of their lives no matter what. All this story does is give them specific questions to ask. They will be the only ones that remember this story a year from now. And unfortunately they'll most likely remember it for much longer than that.


It clearly focuses on the reponse (or lack thereof). I have every right to know why the people that take my tax dollars don't do their jobs. How arrogant of you to assume your thought on the matter is all that counts. This doesn't put the family through anything, the actions of the first responders did that. The only correct thing you said was that they would wonder "what if" for the rest of their lives. Guess what friend, we get to wonder "what-if" too. For instance, hat if it was my kid, my wife, etc. I'm tired of peoplelike you that think your opinion on what is news and what isn't is the bottom line here. I wasn't aware we had elected a new "thinks for all of us" person. Maybe I missed the memo?


Saying there was nothing they could do and defending the poor choice of actions here is also "armchair quarterbacking". @mp1100 - There isn't always time to do everything right, good for Mr. Clark for trying, but those officers would have had to shoot me to stop me whether I was a dive master or not. Those public safety officials watched a girl die and they will never know if they could have saved her. Regardless of the Dept. saying the response was appropriate, I guarantee you this will haunt the first responder for the rest of his life. If not, he should get a different job.


Um_whatever, clearly you misunderstood the intent of my comment. Which was to establish the differences between a rescue diver and public safety diving. Could the rescue diver have been successful in his swim out to the car? Perhaps ......or not.....we won't know. THAT would be armchair quarterbacking. And I will not be the judge of his actions.


Under the PADI certification structure, a Dive Master is required to have a Rescue Diver certification. Dive Masters assist in the training of other divers seeking the Rescue Diver certification.

It is sad that the officer at the scene would not allow a certified rescue diver attempt to save the occupants of the vehicle.


As a PADI instructor and Public Safety Diver Instructor, I assure you the training in the two courses is different. Rescue Diver scenarios are conducted in bodies of water with visibility and without current under Controlled Situations. I have trained countless Rescue Divers. Yet, of those who do fairly well in the rescue diver training, placing them in the dark waters of the Mississippi or Rock Rivers brings a whole new perspective to the table. As an instructor, I will not allow someone to take my PSD class without confirming the level of prior training, a skill assessment, and confirmation of or additiona training in other skills necessary to SAFELY conduct public safety diving missions.

I will not comment on the intent of the Divemaster other than to commend him for wanting to try. Nor will I comment on the actions of the first responders on the night of the incident. CDAngel, unless you have been there, you might want to re-consider your position. The officer could not confirm the certification of the Divemaster, nor could the officer confirm the training or quality of equipment possessed by the divemaster. Would we all want to try? I think like to think so. There are a couple of rules to remember;
1. Bad things happen to good people
2. No matter how badly you want or how fiercely you try to save people, you can't always change rule number 1.

Those who are unfamiliar with the dynamics of the Mississippi cannot appreciate that for everything that might go right, there are 10 things that can go wrong.

My sincere condolences to the family of Leah.

Devin H
Devin H

Isn't that one of the points of funding Police and Fire - that they WILL risk their lives to save us? Even in dangerous situations?


It is easy to "armchair quarterback" this tragedy but what could they have done? The temperature was subfreezing, the water temp was 40 degrees and the police had no dry suits. If they jumped in the water they, along with Mr. Clark who is a master diver and not a rescue expert, would have become victims and the situation would have changed. Instead of locating the car now the fire department would have to search the river for multiple victims. People need to stop believing everything they see on shows like Chicago Fire and think about their actions. I'm sure the first responders feel awful enough not being able to rescue that woman but to have an article like this doesn't help either. First responders are trained about the golden hour but no one on either the fire or the police department are trained to dive in the river so to say they could have done more is absurd and a slap in the face to those who put their lives at risk to save ours and keep us safe not to mention that was a shameful plug for yourself Mr. Dworkin. Shame on you Barb Ickes for even writing this article.


You are wrong. Car on surface for 6 mins... Break window 1.5 seconds . Not actual time as a window punch takes less but u need to tap glass out of way. One u gain access inside car you have about 4 more minutes left. Seat belt cutter less than 10 seconds. Now you have less than 2 minutes to get out. If person is unconscious gonna be close but can be done. Remember the car is filling with water the victim will be easier to move.
Point is there was time to do a rescue.


All I hear is deep and cold water fast current. I am not sure of exact location of accident but if the water is that deep and has that strong of current there I visualize that this happened in the main channel. Since the river is so low right now and barge traffic is having a hard time navigating the water where the accident was probably not 22 feet deep with normal current. But like I said I am not sure of location.
Water temp not an issue for victim being treated.


First Responders are educated about the concept of The Golden Hour, which refers to a time period following traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death. This concept is especially applicable in cold water incidents.

Responding Fire, Rescue, EMS, and Law Enforcement personnel should have made an aggressive effort to locate and rescue the victim and provide aggressive basic and advanced life support during transport to a medical facility.

A cold water submersion incident should be treated as a RESCUE incident, rather than a RECOVERY incident, within the first hour of submersion.

Gerald M. Dworkin
Lifesaving Resources, LLC
P.O. Box 3006 / 3 Mills Rd.
Kennebunkport, Maine 04046

Common Sense 50
Common Sense 50

You would think this would fall under the "good samaritan" law, that a citizen is obligated to help to the extent of their training and abilities. The officer should have let him help because he was a train diver? Very sad....


Wow, this story is enough to give you nightmares. My heart goes out to the family. I'm in disbelief that this cop could make a decision like this knowing that there was even a remote possibility a person was in that car. Here is my question......if that was his daughters car......would he have made an attempt at rescue. We all know the answer to that question. If I was the Chief of Police, this officer would be looking for a new line of work and I would be bringing in some experts to teach the police and fire department how to handle these situations. Shame on them....this is absolutely horrendous.


Let me also say,, Thank you Mr. Clark for being willing to risk your life to save someone else's.. Especially when the police and rescue people who are paid to do this, did nothing. Of course the police are going to say that their response was appropriate, they are trying to ward off the law suits that could follow.


I have thought since the story first came out that police should have done something sooner. They not only failed to act,, they prevented others who were willing to act from doing so. I think the officer just had it in his mind that it was a dumped vehicle and didn't do anything. I have to wonder how he feels now. It is sickening.


Your opinion is based on ignorance of police procedures and protocol. Educate yourself before making posts that clearly demonstrate your lack of understanding and knowledge of what the police can, cannot, or should not do. The police obviously will put themselves in harms way, depending on the situation. They are NOT required to go on suicide missions.

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