Deputy, 2 K-9s escape from washed-out road
MAPLE VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY/Gray News) - Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban recounted a frightening situation for a sheriff’s deputy and two K-9s during Thursday night’s storms when heavy rain washed out a county highway.
Sgt. Chad Angus was driving along County Highway A in Maple Valley when the roadway swallowed him up. Heavy rain had undermined a 4-foot-wide section of the roadway where there was a culvert and the pavement collapsed as Angus’s vehicle passed over it. The SUV dropped into the rushing water, the impact with the ditch setting off the air bags.
Angus was able to get out quickly with his K-9s before the vehicle was swept away and covered by the rushing water.
“He got out through the driver door, and because the car was still hung up a little bit, there was still asphalt there until after the fact. So, Mother Nature did her job. It’s crazy, the amount of force water can come through, and it just ate underneath the bank and chunks of 10x10 blacktop were falling into the water and it was taking him away,” Skarban told WBAY.
They were helped by a member of the highway department.
“His squad was actually holding up a portion of the concrete,” Skarban said, “and by the time the water was able to get around that, that part washed away and took the squad with it down to the swamp. We didn’t get it out until 7:30, 8 this morning because the water levels were still so high.”
Angus had been responding to weather-related calls with his two K-9s. He was responding to a tree falling on a vehicle when the highway gave way.
The water running through the highway has since receded but it’s still rushing under the roadway.
The sergeant wasn’t hurt but he won’t be back to work Friday night; he’s on his scheduled days off. He’ll be back on patrol next week.
“We were very thankful Sgt. Angus wasn’t injured. Seat belts and air bags work, safety equipment was applied, and just a good, common-sense, savvy cop night-shifter and just steady, and we care greatly about each other in this organization,” said the sheriff.
The sheriff had earlier written on Facebook about the incident: “We thank God there were no injuries or loss of life.”
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