Car tumbles down cliff into lake, no one injured
August 14, 2012 Share

Car tumbles down cliff into lake, no one injured

While Monday mornings may not be all that great for many of us, this past Monday was probably a little worse, or possibly better for a woman from Michigan visiting State Dock here at the lake.

Cheryl and her husband Chuck were just in from a weekend on the lake. Cheryl went up the hill to get the SUV they drove to the lake to bring it to the ramp, while Chuck was bringing all their gear to the ramp in carts. Cheryl got into the car, rolled the windows down because it was beautiful out, and inadvertently placed the car in DRIVE.  When it did not back up easily, a little more push on the accelerator was what was assumed to be needed to back up the incline.

Instead of backing up, the car lunged forward over the concrete parking curb and proceeded to fall down the roughly 4 story drop into the lake, over boulders and grazing a tree on the way down. The SUV floated for only a few seconds. Luckily, the windows being down provided a way for Cheryl to escape the vehicle before it rolled over and sank to the bottom of the lake in 30’ of water, right under a State Dock houseboat. Cheryl hit her head slightly on the windshield, but was otherwise uninjured.

The SUV, a 2002 GMC Envoy, did not fair as well.

Bill Jasper from State Dock called MARINE ASSIST to come and remove the vehicle from the water. MARINE ASSIST operates the boat towing service on the lake and removes sunken boats from the water, so they are well equipped to remove a vehicle as well.

Two divers from the Jamestown Fire Department that also work for MARINE ASSIST located the vehicle on the bottom in 30’ of water, attached airbags to the wheels and turned it right side up again for the tow to the ramp.

At the ramp, the vehicle was winched out of the water and loaded onto a trailer and removed from the property, awaiting the insurance company inspection. When you read through this, just think about how moments of extreme unluckiness can be followed by moments filled with a miracle. I find it amazing Cheryl was not injured more than she was.

As I stood on the workboat operating the airbags and looked up the cliff the car had gone over, I could not imagine what that must have been like to experience. That is why I say, for her, this may be the worst Monday she has had in a while or quite possibly the best.

Story by Don Hunter