Brendan Weber

North Bay Driver Plunges into Creek, Survives Eight Hours Before Rescue

A North Bay woman and her dog are living to tell another tale after enduring a nightmarish crash over the weekend.

Victoria Trautvetter was traveling along the windy two-lane Cazadero Highway in western Sonoma County around 11:45 p.m. on Friday when she rolled her car and plunged into Austin Creek, the Press Democrat reported. The 67-year-old's car crashed down the embankment and rolled roughly 10 feet into the creek, but it somehow managed to land on its wheels.

Trautvetter spent the next eight hours or so in the car with her small dog as rushing water and darkness surrounded the vehicle, according to the newspaper. Water crept high enough to touch the steering wheel, but Trautvetter found safety and dry conditions in the back of her car while she waited for help.

Fortunately for Trautvetter, someone spotted her car Saturday morning and immediately alerted authorities, the newspaper reported.

A swift water rescue team around 8 a.m. managed to pull Trautvetter from the car and bring her to safety, according to the newspaper.

John Yost, a tow truck driver who was called to the scene to fish out the submerged vehicle, was stunned by the ordeal, calling it a "double miracle," according to the newspaper. He said Trautvetter's first break was that her car landed upright. Her second break was that a large rock prevented her car from flowing downstream and steadied it enough to prevent water from flooding the cabin.

Trautvetter only complained about being cold and having a sore shoulder, according to the newspaper.

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