Police pull Seymour man from floodwaters


A 75-year-old Seymour man was rescued from floodwaters Wednesday morning after his vehicle became trapped.

Morris Hirtzel was rescued after an hourlong effort to free him from his 2018 Subaru Forester.

At 10:24 a.m., police were called to the 1500 block of East County Road 300N in the Shieldstown Bottoms near the Shieldstown Covered Bridge.

Hirtzel drove through floodwaters before it was swept more than 50 feet into deeper water, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Adam Nicholson said.

Hirtzel told police he could not swim and that water had reached his steering wheel of his compact sport utility vehicle. He was the only person in the vehicle.

County officers Rob Henley and Mark Holt responded to the scene but were not able to enter the water to reach Hirtzel.

Indiana Conservation Officer Nate Berry brought the agency’s fan boat to the scene, and the three pulled Hirtzel through the driver’s-side window, Nicholson said.

Hirtzel told police the lower half of his body was submerged in the water for about a half-hour. He was taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour for treatment, police said.

The East Fork White River was at 15.71 feet at the time of the incident, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage for the river is 12 feet.

It’s the third incident since Dec. 5 where first responders have been called to conduct a floodwater rescue.

Motorists in Jackson County can be cited up to $500 for driving in floodwaters. Whether Hirtzel had been cited was not available at press time.

The vehicle will remain in the area until the water recedes and a wrecker can reach it, Nicholson said.

Police also rescued a woman who drove through floodwaters in the 2500 block of North Base Road in Brownstown on Wednesday afternoon. The woman drove through water but was able to continue onto dry land, Henley said.

The woman called police for help. Her vehicle was left at the scene, Henley said.

No other information about the incident was available at press time.

Police said motorists should not drive through floodwaters but should instead turn around and find a different route.

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