Mar 18, 2014 10:48 AM by David Randall
YAKIMA, WA - Yakima County Sheriff Deputies are trying to figure out why a man drove a small SUV into the Yakima River in Wapato.
Deputies say Facondo Hernandez veered off the road into the water, where he was trapped in the vehicle.
Art Gonzalez, who was driving by, called 911 when he saw the man in the water. Deputies say it took the Sheriff's Water Rescue Team about an hour to help Hernandez to safety, but Gonzalez stayed there the whole time.
Deputies say Gonzalez helped translate between Hernandez and the first responders during the whole incident.
"He didn't just call it in and leave," Deputy Peter Schick of the Yakima County Sheriff's Office said. "He came down to the shoreline and continued to keep the man calm and communicate with him throughout the whole time we were here."
Paramedics took Hernandez to Yakima Regional Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.
Deputies say they're still trying to identify a passenger who was with Hernandez, but swam to shore and walked away.
No word yet when deputies plan to pull the vehicle from the river.