HAYDEN LAKE, Idaho — The quick work of three Kootenai County deputies saved an elderly man who drove down a boat launch and into Hayden Lake on Thursday night.
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office says Deputy Cox was doing patrols around 10 p.m. near the Honeysuckle Boat Launch on Hayden Lake when he noticed a truck head into the boat launch/ beach parking lot area.
The truck drove through the parking lot, down the boat launch, and straight into the water.
Deputy Cox called for more help including the Dive Rescue Team. The Sheriff’s Office said two other deputies arrived at the Lake within minutes.
As the three deputies approached the truck, they noticed a man struggling to get out of the driver’s seat. Deputy Cox, Deputy Ragan and Deputy Perry jumped into the lake.
As the deputies tried to open the door to the truck, it slipped further into the water. The Sheriff’s Office said eventually they were able to get the door open and pull the man out of the truck before it was fully submerged.
The driver was identified as a 91-year old man from Coeur d’Alene. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said the water temperature of Hayden Lake was 37 degrees at the time of the rescue, while the air temperature was 21 degrees.
The investigation into the incident determined that alcohol was not a factor but the man was confused and lost.
This isn't the first time someone has driven down the boat ramp and into Hayden Lake.
In 2018, a man died and a woman was rescued after their vehicle went into the lake, according to the Associated Press.
In December 2020, deputies saved a woman who drove her car into Hayden Lake at the Honeysuckle Boat Launch.