TRAER — Traer firefighters rescued an unconscious motorist who was trapped after water from melting snow overtook his vehicle.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the man, whose identity wasn’t available, and the vehicle were in the water on Ridge Road northwest of Traer, but Fire Chief Tyler Sell said it appeared he had been there awhile.

“It appears he was driving, and either the vehicle became disabled or there was just too much water on the road,” Sell said. The vehicle “appeared to be mostly on the roadway but it was all covered in water, and the water had risen through the night. I’m not sure what the level was last night, but it was quite a bit higher this morning.”

The man’s condition hasn’t been released.

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On Thursday morning, a passerby spotted the vehicle on the flooded roadway, which the county had closed earlier because of deteriorating road conditions. After using an endloader to approach the vehicle, crews determined it was occupied.

“We used our ice rescue suits, cold water suits, and three of our personnel went out and retrieved the individual from the vehicle,” Sell said.

He said the water was moving and came from swollen Wolf Creek nearby.

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