Kayaker Saves Family After SUV Crash

Car crashes into river, barely missing kayaker

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 8, 2013 3:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – A kayaker is being credited with helping to save a family of five after their SUV had veered off a road and ended up in a Northern California river. The family was driving along Highway 50 on Thursday afternoon when their SUV veered off the road, hit a concrete mile marker, a large tree, and a boulder, before falling over a cliff into the American River, Sacramento television station KCRA-TV reported. A kayaker on the river was able to get three children—a 4-year-old girl and two 15-year-twin girls—out of the SUV and get them to shore, officials said.

When the kayaker—identified as Mark Divittorio of Placerville—went back to the SUV he found the driver with his head partly underwater and the man's wife helping to hold his head up, the station said. "It was fortuitous that they didn't actually land on me," Divittorio says. "I was kayaking right there moments before they plunged off the cliff." The driver suffered moderate to major injuries, according to police, but everyone else suffered only bumps and bruises.

This image provided by the El Dorado County Fire Department shows a crash site where an SUV veered off a road and ended up in the American river near Kyburz, in Northern California.
This image provided by the El Dorado County Fire Department shows a crash site where an SUV veered off a road and ended up in the American river near Kyburz, in Northern California.   ((AP Photo/El Dorado County Fire Department))
This image provided by the El Dorado County Fire Department shows a crash site where an SUV veered off a road and ended up in the American river near Kyburz, in Northern California.
This image provided by the El Dorado County Fire Department shows a crash site where an SUV veered off a road and ended up in the American river near Kyburz, in Northern California.   ((AP Photo/El Dorado County Fire Department))
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