Dartmouth driver saved after crashing into Rochester pond

By Andrea Ray | Jun 26, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray A tractor-trailer submerged in water on Mary's Pond Road.

Rochester — After crashing into a pond in Rochester, a Dartmouth man was saved by a passing motorist and Rochester police officer, who kept his head above water for 40 minutes until he could be freed from the wreckage.

Francis Cabral, 73, was headed in the direction of Rochester center on June 22. Shortly after 6:30 a.m., Cabral went through the bridge railings on Mary's Pond Road, near East Over Reservation, and landed in Leonard's Pond, according to Rochester Police. Cabral suffered severe injuries.

According to a press release from the Rochester Police Department, a passing motorist saw the crash and jumped into the water to help Cabral. The motorist was able to keep Cabral's head above water, but Cabral was tangled in debris and unable to immediately exit the vehicle.

Rochester police officer Nathan Valente arrived shortly after and jumped into the water to assist. He and the passing motorist were able to keep Cabral's head above water until he could be extricated by the Rochester Fire Department and Rochester EMS. The Rochester Fire Department noted that it was a 40-minute extrication.

Cabral was med-flighted to Rhode Island Hospital with severe injuries. As of June 26, Cabral has been moved out of the intensive care unit and is listed in "good" condition, according to Media Representative Christina O'Reilly.

It took crews nearly 10 hours to remove the truck and debris from the water, according to the Rochester Police. Utilities in the area were cut so that workers could remove the wreck. Power and cable were restored around 9 p.m.

The truck spilled diesel into the water when it crashed, and potential contamination meant that Rochester Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon was on scene to investigate any environmental impacts.

Marion Harbormaster Isaac Perry, as well as the Marion Harbormaster's Department, sent a boat from the scene of the accident through Sippican River, to where the Sippican River meets the Weweantic River and through to Marion Harbor; the waterway is a main source of water for cranberry bogs and residential wells. Perry reported that no contamination from the crash was found in the water.

The crash remains under investigation. While the cause is still unclear, preliminary reports indicate that Cabral swerved into the guardrail, where he blew a tire and continued into the holding pond, said Rochester Police Chief Paul Magee.

(Courtesy of: Rochester Fire Department)
(Photo by: Rochester Fire Department)
(Photo by: Rochester Fire Department)
(Photo by: Rochester Police Department)
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