At 5:23 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, emergency personnel with Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department (KCSD), North Webster Fire Department and North Webster EMS responded to a report of a vehicle driving off a bridge into water near the Barbee Landing on Barbee Lake Road. When officers arrived on scene, they discovered a white, 2000 Jeep Cherokee SUV lying on its side in the south edge of the channel.
Initial investigation by KCSD deputies determined that the driver, identified as Shelby Jewell Pontius, 18, of Warsaw, had been traveling northbound on Barbee Lake Road. Pontius informed officers that she had become distracted by a squirrel that had run into the roadway and had drove off the pavement and into the bridge guardrail, causing her to overturn her vehicle into the channel.
Officers stated an off-duty Cool Springs Fireman, identified as Nathan Stewart Maibauer, 24, Michigan City, was fishing near the bridge. Maibauer responded to the vehicle, entered the water and broke-out the rear window to assist Pontius out of the SUV. Pontius refused medical treatment by North Webster medics.
Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department was assisted at the scene by the North Webster EMS/Fire Department, North Webster Police Department, Indiana Conservation Officers and the Kosciusko County Dive Team.
INITIAL: Police, fire and emergency personnel are en route to the bridge at Barbee Landing where a vehicle has gone off the bridge and into the water.
The driver has reportedly been rescued.
More information will be posted when it becomes available.