Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue responded to an unusual situation Thursday night at the boat ramp on Harbor Street. A driver for the Eugene company Automatic Heat took a wrong turn at the corner of First and Harbor streets and drove straight into the Siuslaw River at the Port of Siuslaw boat ramp.
A witness at the scene, Tom Payne, called 911 to report the accident around 7:30 p.m.
"I live on Bay Street and I was out taking a walk with a friend and looked out on the Port ramp and saw lights in the water," Payne said. "I couldn't quite figure out what I was looking at, so I walked down the ramp and saw that I was looking at a full-sized box truck that was submerged and sinking."
According to Payne, the driver was not in sight and did not appear to be in the vehicle .
"I was able to see the phone number on the truck and so I called them to see if I could reach someone," Payne said. "Then I called 911, and about a minute and a half later there were two officers here and then every one else showed up."
First responders were initially unable to attach a cable to the submerged vehicle. There was a short delay while a diver suited up, entered the water and hooked up a cable to the truck. This cable was then attached to a winch truck from Mast Bros. Towing that slowly pulled the vehicle from the water.
The process took about an hour and there were no further problems associated with the removal.
The driver was unharmed in the accident, passed a field sobriety test and was issued a citation for careless driving.
Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue, Florence Police Department and Western Lane Ambulance District responded.