YUBA CITY — A CHP officer is being hailed a hero after he pulled a woman from a car that was submerged in a canal following a suspected DUI crash.
Yuba-Sutter CHP Officer Steven Klippel said he’s no hero and that pulling the woman, who wasn’t breathing, from a submerged car was just part of the job. Klippel says that other emergency responders on scene deserve the credit.
Around 2 a.m. Saturday, a man, identified by the CHP as Travis Stanton, was driving on Clements Road near Yuba City in a silver Mercedes sedan when the car left the road and landed upside down in the canal. Stanton was able to free himself from the car as it filled with water, but law enforcement officials say he left 23-year-old Megan Russell in the car to drown.
When officers responded to the area, they say they spotted Stanton jogging in the opposite direction of the crash. He told officers he had gone swimming and was fine. CHP officers detained the man and took him to the crash scene.
When officers asked Stanton if there were any passengers in the car, he said no. As they were talking to him, officers heard a muffled gurgle coming from the vehicle. That’s when they discovered Russell was still in trapped in the car.
Klippel broke out the windows of the car, but by the time he was able to get Russell out, she didn’t have a pulse.
Fire and ambulance EMTs were amazingly able to resuscitate Russell, who is now recovering in a hospital. She is breathing on her own and able to talk.
Klippel grew up in the area and was once a firefighter and an ambulance EMT.
Stanton is facing criminal charges in connection to the crash.