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Daring deputy rescues driver trapped by raging floodwaters - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Daring deputy rescues driver trapped by raging floodwaters

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MONTGOMERY, Vt. -

It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her.

The driver told police she's new to the area. There were no signs warning her about the high water and she didn't know the dangers of driving through it. Now, police say she's lucky to be alive and they're calling her rescuer a hero.

It happened in minutes: a pickup truck swallowed by floodwaters from the swollen Trout River; the driver trapped inside.

"The truck almost tipped over. It was up on its side. Water was raging over the hood," said Shawn Glidden of Montgomery.

Glidden was part of the rescue on Longley Bridge Road in Montgomery Tuesday night and shared his home video exclusively with WCAX News.

Police say when the driver tried to plow through the standing water, it wasn't that high. But her truck stalled and the river rose rapidly. Glidden's neighbor, Stanley Longley, drove his tractor to the water's edge to help, but that, too, began to tip. They called 911.

"I told her to calm down. Just say in the truck," Glidden said.

Once the 911 call came in, rescue crews immediately headed to the scene on Longley Bridge Road, but said their response times took longer than usual because the floodwater had made several roads impassable and heavy mud complicated the situation.

Cpl. Brendan McKenney of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department was the first officer on scene. The former Marine says his military training took over.

"I just went into action," McKenney said. "I had rope in the back of my car and I had a pry bar. The tractor was there and that was the first thing that came to my head is that we have to go out there and get her."

"I couldn't believe he did it, but he jumped like 6 feet through the air on the top of the truck. I mean if he'd of fell off the top of the truck I know he would have drowned," Glidden said.

The woman's truck bears the marks of the rescue. Her power windows weren't working, so McKenney smashed the driver's side and pulled her into the bed of the pickup.

"She was actually frozen up in there," he said. "I had to do a little bit of yelling, but I was like, 'We'll get through this, we got to get you out of here. So you just got to work with me here.'"

"Then they jumped off into the water on this side with the rope," Glidden said. "The water started raging. Their heads started to go under the water. So, I ran, grabbed the rope, picked it up high, picked their heads out of the water."

The farmer and his tractor then pulled the woman and her rescuer from the frigid water. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. McKenney changed his ripped, blood-stained clothes and returned to his normal duties within an hour.

"He was a hero and he really deserves a medal or something for risking his life as quickly as he did," Glidden said. "The way he jumped on that truck without a second thought for his safety. He did what he had to do to save her life."

Police are not releasing the woman's name, but tell us she's now recovering at home. They say she's extremely grateful to the first responders who likely saved her life.

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