VIDEO: Dramatic Swift Water Rescue of Former Bakersfield College President John Collins


Former president of Bakersfield College John Collins, 93, was rescued after crashing his car into a southwest Bakersfield, California canal.

Bakersfield police and firefighters responded Wednesday afternoon to a report of a vehicle in the Arvin-Edison canal near Coffee Road. Former president of Bakersfield College John Collins — driving a Toyota Avalon — left the roadway at Tuxton Avenue and slipped into the Arvin-Edison canal, just east of Coffee Road. Rapid water spun the car around and took the car southbound until it was snagged by safety line on the open trunk.

Collins was able to stand through his sun roof. Police rescuers tossed him another portable safety line, and he was also thrown a life vest. Firefighters called in the Kern County air support helicopter. The crew quickly assessed the dangerous situation, which included electric power lines nearby. In about a minute, a rescuer with a safety harness was lowered to the vehicle, and pulled Collins to safety.

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