I have traveled this hill nearly all my life. The hill is one of the steepest in town and it flattens out less than a hundred yards from the stop sign. It has been my recurring nightmare, sleeping and awake, that I would find myself without brakes going down this hill and wind up crashing into the lake. I'm not alone when it comes to that fear. It's shared by many who use this street to enter town. I can only imagine the terror this woman felt as she helplessly plunged through the stop sign and shot into the lake.
I commend the rescue efforts of the three local businessmen, Mike Boutin who owns Northwoods Outfitters, Chris Fenn, one of Boutin's employees, and another local businessman Gary Deflethsen who bravely dove into Moosehead Lake working themselves to exhaustion attempting the rescue. They are reported to have said the woman herself appeared to be unconscious and unable to help herself. The article in this week's Moosehead Messenger goes on to say that even our town manager John Simco donned a wetsuit and joined the rescue effort, but the Bangor Daily News reported on Saturday that it was 30 minutes before trained rescuers were able to break into the truck fifteen feet under water and bring the lady's body up. It would appear to me that the woman's only chance of survival was the rescue attempt by these three brave local businessmen. Again, I commend their efforts.
Should such a nightmare ever happen to myself, my wife, my children, or any of my friends or extended family, I would hope that there would be men and women in this town brave enough to risk their lives to rescue us. Damn the warnings reportedly later given by Simco and published in Saturday's Bangor Daily News. Quoting the article, not Simco directly, "people need to be very careful in such situations. The first rule of any rescue effort is to keep yourself safe. One or all of the men could have been overcome and required a rescue which would have made the task even more difficult for first responders."
All who attempted the rescue are heroes in my eyes. Damn Simco's warnings!