Wrangell man rescued by bystanders after driving into Heritage Harbor

The truck being pulled from the water, January 9, 2020. (Courtesy Danny St. John)

An elderly Wrangell man escaped serious injury after driving his truck past a barrier wall and into Heritage Harbor on Saturday afternoon.

Wrangell Police Chief Tom Radke says the unidentified man drove his Ford pickup past a barrier of boulders and down into the water, completely submerging the vehicle.

“My understanding is that he inadvertently stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake and went up and over [the rock wall],” Radke said Monday.

An eyewitness told KSTK that bystanders pulled the driver from the truck’s cab before the vehicle was completely flooded. An ambulance took the 87-year-old man to Wrangell Medical Center for evaluation.

An update on his condition was not available.

Radke says that while the Ford truck is a total loss, the city-owned harbor was largely unscathed.

“It’s superficial damage,” Radke added. “We just moved some rocks. Some grass was torn up. That was it, there’s no huge bill or anything like that.”

The truck was towed out of the water a few hours later with the help of harbor workers. The extended cab pickup was in the harbor parking lot as of Monday morning.

Read next