Route 15 in Jericho was shut down in both directions for two hours Wednesday while crews worked to rescue a woman from the Browns River.
"I came back by to go down to my friend's house and they wouldn't let me by. It's like 'what the heck's going on here?'" says witness David Markwell.
Police say 20-year-old Shelby Barber of North Hero entered the water upstream of the Chittenden Mill and was swept to an area known as the falls, where she was able to climb onto a rock ledge. Neighbors allegedly heard screaming and called 911 just before 10 p.m.
"The team that got down there found a female with some injuries, immobilized, she was not able to make her way out of the water on her own. She was safe on the rock not in the water at that point," Underhill-Jericho Fire Department Assistant Chief Mathew Champlin said.
Champlin says it took crews nearly two hours to safely hoist Barber 40 feet up to the road.
"We saw the girl get pulled out and we heard her screaming, so we know she's alive, but other than that that's all we know," said Dylan Fortin, a witness at the scene.
Barber was transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington to be treated for cuts and possible broken bones. Some witnesses say they saw Barber earlier in the evening on the bridge with her boyfriend. Champlin says that boyfriend was not at the scene when rescue crews arrived, but that he did return to the scene later.
"I drove by quarter to ten and there was two people leaning over the guardrail and five to ten minutes later cops were showing up, fire, Essex rescue," Fortin said.
"We do know that she and her boyfriend were in the general area and they had an argument and the next thing we know we got called to her being down here on the rock," Champlin said.
Vermont State Police are continuing the investigation. At this time no criminal charges have been filed.
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