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  • 24 Apr 2014

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Car flies off cliff, crashes into Molalla River

Good Samaritans help rescue the two injured from the frigid water.


by: CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERRIFFS OFFICE - Rescue team pulls one of the injured up a cliff after a car crashed upsdie down into the Molalla River early Sunday morning.Two people were injured after a car flew off a 30 foot cliff and crashed into the Molalla River early Sunday morning, said Clackamas County deputies.

Just after midnight, Clackamas County received a 911 call reporting a car had crashed on the Molalla Forest Road east of Molalla. The car had gone off the roadway, crashed off rocks and landed upside down in the river.

Two people were in the car at the time of the crash, about seven miles east of the intersection with Dickey Prairie Road, deputies said.

Several good Samaritans helped the victims immediately after the crash. Nate Thompson of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said Douglas Parkins, 25, from Sandy, Ore. pulled the driver from the vehicle shortly after the crash with the help of Michael Holliday, 31, and Ricky Hendrickson, 34, both from Colton.

Parkins then stayed on top of the car with the injured man while waiting for rescuers.

Molalla Fire District and Clackamas County Sheriff's Office units were first on scene. The Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium arrived shortly after.

Crews arriving found the two men on top of the vehicle in the water. The car, a 1996 Dodge Stratus, was almost completely submerged in the frigid water. The female passenger was able to escape from the car and swam to shore on the other side of the river. Two passersby waded across the river to give her aid until rescue crews arrived, deputies said.

After reaching the injured parties, rescue crews used a rapid deployment craft raft to bring them to shore. Then two rope teams brought the injured people up a steep cliff. The driver was identified as Giovanni Demartino, 22, from Clackamas in listed in critical condition at OHSU. The passenger, Danie Fournier, age 23, from Oregon City is listed in stable condition at OHSU, deputies said.

Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in this crash, police said. The case has been forwarded to the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office for charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants and assault.

Molalla Fire, Colton Fire, Gladstone Fire, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Clackamas Fire, Clackamas County Dive and Marine Patrol all responded to the crash.