On Saturday night a car with Texas license plates drove into the icy Arkansas River, leaving a passenger clinging to the roof.
Salida Police Sgt. Edward O’Brien was dispatched to investigate a traffic complaint on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. when a black 2006 Nissan Murano drove recklessly on G Street from Hwy 50. The Nissan failed to stop for the stop sign at 7th and G Streets, then pulled into the Safeway parking lot. The Nissan was then seen at the First Stop gas pumps. As O’Brien walked up to investigate, the 31-year-old male driver from Houston drove toward Sackett Street.
Next, O’Brien was alerted there was a vehicle in the Arkansas River by the Coors Boat Ramp. The vehicle was in the river with the female passenger, 32, clinging onto the roof. The driver swam away from the Nissan and was in front of the Boathouse Cantina on F Street, knocking on the windows of vehicles as they drove by.
Salida Fire Department personnel and Chaffee County EMS were dispatched to the Coors Boat ramp. Fire Dept. Capt. Dave McCann and Capt. Chris Bainbridge waded out to the passenger on the roof while the driver was located and taken into custody.
The driver and passenger were taken to the hospital for examination. The passenger was released and the driver was transported to the Chaffee County Jail. He is being held pending a felony filing by the District Attorney’s Office for charges of Felony Mischief, Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Reckless Endangerment, Reckless Driving and other traffic charges. Bond was set at $15,000.00