UTAH

Right place, right time: Tooele police describe frantic water rescue

Jun 7, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:01 pm

Members of the Tooele Police Department are talking about a water rescue they conducted because the...

Police shot out a window and pulled an unconscious 12-year-old girl out of a submerged car in Settlement Canyon Reservoir Saturday afternoon. (Derek Petersen, KSL TV)

(Derek Petersen, KSL TV)

TOOELE, Utah — Members of the Tooele Police Department are talking about a water rescue they were able to conduct at Settlement Canyon Reservoir, simply because they were in the right place at the right time.

It was a 12-year-old girl that benefited from the incredible timing.

Tooele Police were checking water levels at Settlement Canyon Reservoir

Corporal Colbey Bentley with the Tooele Police Department said some of their officers were checking the water level at Settlement Canyon Reservoir on Saturday when bystanders told them that a van had accidentally entered the water, and sunk below the surface.

Settlement Canyon Reservoir in Tooele County, pictured on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

“As soon as the vehicle goes down, which is completely submerged at this point, our officers are able to jump into the water and are able to start searching for the vehicle,” Bentley told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic.

They found the van but were faced with the near impossibility of opening a car door when it is submerged in water. 

“They are able to get down there they’re trying to break windows open. They’re trying to open doors. But as many people know when we have a submerged vehicle, it’s hard to break a window, it’s hard to open a door it just doesn’t happen,” he said.

Shooting into the murky water of Settlement Canyon Reservoir

Part of a police officer’s training, Bentley said, is to think out of the box when they have to. A 12-year-old girl was stuck in a vehicle full of water. So they fired their service weapon into the window.

“And an officer swimming around feels an arm and is able to pull the 12-year-old girl out,” Bentley said.

The child was unconscious. She wasn’t breathing. 

She was pulled to the shore where medical services had arrived. Police said she was taken to one hospital, and then another, and that she ended up being in good condition.

The van was eventually pulled from the water. Bentley said it had been submerged in about 11 feet of murky water. 

Other reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

Utah County Projects...

Amie Schaeffer

UDOT receives nearly $1.4 billion for Utah County projects 

Nearly $1.4 billion in funding has been approved by the state for multiple Utah County projects due to population growth.

24 minutes ago

A car is filled at a gas pump in Sandy on Tuesday, March 19, 2024....

Adam Small

Experts predict record number of drivers, lower Memorial Day gas prices

Experts have predicted that 43.8 million people will travel this weekend. They could experience lower gas prices.

1 hour ago

SLCPD emblem at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building....

Devin Oldroyd

SLCPD investigating alleged homicide involving a child

SLCPD is conducting a homicide investigation involving a man and a child. The investigation is ongoing.

15 hours ago

a police car is pictured...

Devin Oldroyd

Two injured following Glendale Neighborhood shooting

A man and a woman were hospitalized following a shooting in the Glendale Neighborhood early Sunday morning.

19 hours ago

South Salt Lake Police Department...

Devin Oldroyd

South Salt Lake Police Department searching for missing, endangered 13-year-old

The South Salt Lake Police Department is looking for missing and endangered Aliah Samora. Police say she may be in West Jordan.

20 hours ago

A Salt Lake City stabbing has led to a man being in critical condition after being stabbed during a...

Kennedy Camarena

One person critically injured in Salt Lake City stabbing

A man is in critical condition after a fight and attempted burglary led to him being stabbed. Police are investigating the incident.

20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Right place, right time: Tooele police describe frantic water rescue