• Last modified 1077 days ago (July 1, 2021)


Teens rescued from tree

Staff writer

Goessel firefighters were sandbagging their firehouse against Friday night’s rain when a situation far more important came up.

Two Moundridge sisters, ages 17 and 18, were clinging to a tree after their car washed off 90th Rd. between Meridian and Alamo Rds. about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

The firefighters removed their sandbags to get their trucks out of the station and hurried to the stranded teens.

Fire chief Matt Voth said firefighters took two different routes because of flooding in the area.

When crews arrived, they found the girls clinging to the tree.

“When we got there, the car was on its side, and the only thing visible was the corner of a tail light,” Voth said. “They somehow managed to get out of the car, climbed up and were waiting for help. They were screaming, and the neighbors heard them and called 911.”

Hillsboro Fire Department sent a rescue truck and boat to assist the Goessel firefighters. The rescue truck arrived ahead of the boat because fire chief Ben Steketee had to load the boat while the rescue truck already had a raft on board.

“We had four firemen already on scene,” Voth said. “They waded in about chest deep, using rope from (Goessel’s) rescue truck to tie themselves up. Hillsboro got there with their raft about that time.”

Firefighters got the raft to the tree, and Goessel firefighters pulled the girls out of the tree and put them onto Hillsboro’s raft.

“It was a great effort on behalf of both teams,” Voth said.

After the sisters were safely out of danger, firefighters took them to the Goessel firehouse to wait for their mother to drive from Newton.

“The girls are very, very lucky,” Voth said. “They were going down an unfamiliar county road after dark, and they were going too fast. Water was about 16 to 20 inches over the road.”

Voth said drivers should be aware of safety concerns when driving on flooded roads.

“Don’t drive through running water,” he said. “You never know how deep it is or how fast it’s running.”

Steketee agreed.

“People should not drive through water,” he said. “From what I understand those two young ladies were very scared and upset.”

Last modified July 1, 2021