Written by The Herald-News Saturday, 19 May 2012 13:23
Police say fellow motorists came to the aid of a Wolf Point man last week and rescued him Tule Creek as the water level rose in his vehicle after crashing into the creek.
The Montana Highway Patrol said Joray Fourbear, 34, of Wolf Point, was rescued the morning of Friday, May 11, from his sport utility vehicle by Silas Montclair of Poplar, Stan Moran of Wolf Point, and Mitch Youngman of Poplar, who were all traveling U.S. Hwy. 2 on their way to work.
“He was pulled from the vehicle by three gentlemen who actually saved his life. They went into the water and rescued him from the sun roof of the Ford Explorer,” said Trooper Gabe Bernard. “At that point, I arrived on scene and saw them pull him out of the water.”
Bernard said the SUV crashed into the creek facing west, in the opposite direction Fourbear had been traveling alone.
The trooper said Fourbear’s 1998 Ford Explorer crashed in water 6 to 7 feet deep. He said the vehicle came to rest almost upright, tilted on its passenger side, and quickly filled with water.
“When I arrived, the vehicle had about a foot of air in the cab,” Bernard said.
The trooper said Fourbear had been underwater for a “certain amount of time” and was unresponsive by the time he had been extricated through the vehicle’s sun roof.
Once removed from the vehicle, Bernard said the Good Samaritans dragged Fourbear to the bank and began resuscitation efforts.
Bernard said another motorist, John Marmon of Wolf Point, joined the rescue scene and began administering CPR.
“I grabbed my first-aid kit and assisted with CPR until emergency medical services arrived,” Bernard said. “I helped with CPR and took over compressions until emergency medical technicians arrived.”
Fourbear was initially taken to Trinity Hospital in critical condition. He was subsequently flown to a hospital in Billings.
Bernard said Tuesday, May 15, that Fourbear was still alive. He credited the rescuers with saving Fourbear’s life.
“Those guys did an outstanding job,” he said.
Bernard said once EMTs arrived and took over Fourbear’s emergency services, he began investigating the crash.
Bernard said Fourbear was driving eastbound on U.S. Hwy 2 when his SUV made contact with the south guardrail at Tule Creek at about 7:57 a.m.
The trooper said the SUV then veered left, crashing into the north guardrail and breaking through the barrier before careening over the bridge at mile marker 601 and into Tule Creek.
Bernard said Tuesday the cause of the single-vehicle accident remained under investigation.
“We’ve concluded that speed was not a factor in this crash,” the trooper said. “It appears that after making contact with the rail, he over-corrected.”