When Charlotte Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Rob Mullin initially heard the call about a car in Lewis Creek at the Quinlan Bridge with entrapment, he pictured a much worse scene than he found.
“What we mean by ‘entrapment’ and what civilians mean by ‘entrapment’ is two different things,” Mullin said. For rescuers, “entrapment” means that they are probably going to have to cut someone out of a car.
Mullin lives about a mile from the site, and as he drove to the crash, he worried that there might be someone trapped in a vehicle upside down in the waters of Lewis Creek. He was the first rescuer on the scene around 9:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, and what he saw was much less dire.
Mullin found Jeanette Bushell, 77, of Charlotte, standing in Lewis Creek next to her open front car door with the water above her knees.
“I asked, “Are you hurt?” and she said, “No, I just need help getting out,” said Mullin.
He walked around to the other side of the stream where her 2015 Toyota Corolla had come to stop about a foot from the bank. Mullin said it was close enough that he could lean on the car and give her a hand and help her out of the stream and up the bank.
She wasn’t stuck in her car, but she was “definitely stuck in the river,” he said. She appeared to have been driving south on Spear Street near where it intersects with Monkton Road when she missed a turn and ended up in Lewis Creek.
She was able to walk on her own and didn’t seem to be injured, but when Vermont State Police arrive on the scene, they arranged for Bushell to be transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center to be checked out.
In a release, the Vermont State Police said, “Speed and impairment are not considered factors in the crash.”