A lone kayaker is being lauded as a hero after he saved a family whose SUV plummeted off a cliff into a Northern California river.
According to KCRA-TV, the rescue happened on Thursday afternoon when 50-year-old Christian Lemler of Livermore, his wife, and their three children were traveling in their SUV on Highway 50 in Kyburz, California. At some point during their trip, Lemler lost control of the vehicle, hit a concrete mile marker, a large tree, and a boulder and then went plunging into the American River below.
Mark Divottori, a lawyer who was kayaking in the river at the time of the crash, said the out-of-control vehicle hit the water just behind him.
“It was fortuitous that they didn’t actually land on me. I was kayaking right there moments before they plunged off the cliff,” Divittori told KCRA.
Not wasting a moment, Divittorio sprang into action and rescued the three children from the wreckage.
After transporting the children across the rocky waters to safety, Divittorio went back to the terrifying scene where he reportedly found Mr. Lemler pinned upside down with his head partly underwater. His wife was helping hold his head up.
Thankfully, nearby firefighters were able to respond to the scene quickly and helped the husband and wife exit the vehicle. All five family members were taken to an area hospital.
El Dorado County Fire Protection District told KCRA that only the driver had major injuries, and the rest of family only had bumps and bruises.
More on the California kayaker rescue story in the video below:
The Lemler’s were’t the only ones rescued by a man on a kayak in recent days.