A level-headed Woodland man and several good Samaritans are being credited with saving three teens trapped inside a sinking car Monday northwest of Woodland.
California Highway Patrol officers say 22-year-old Kristopher Loudermilk of Olivehurst was driving a 2011 Hyundai Accent on eastbound County Road 19 near County Road 95 at about 4:45 p.m. when he failed to notice a sharp left curve in the roadway.
Loudermilk lost control of the car, which went down an embankment and landed upside-down in a canal.
As the car began to sink and fill with water, Loudermilk escaped through an open driver’s-side window, the CHP said. Four passengers — Michael Kokkeby, 20, of Woodland; a 15-year-old boy and two 16-year-old girls — remained inside.
“Kokkeby encouraged the passengers to escape through the window, but a female juvenile passenger explained she was out of breath and would drown if she tried to escape,” says a CHP report on the incident.
Officers said Kokkeby then swam out of the car to round up help, which came in the form of Loudermilk and several passersby who happened upon the scene. The teens — two from Woodland, one from Olivehurst — were extricated from the vehicle and transported to the UC Davis Medical Center with minor to moderate injuries.
Neither Kokkeby nor Loudermilk was hurt, the CHP said. The good Samaritans who helped them were not identified.
— Reach Lauren Keene at email@example.com or (530) 747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene