Orange County motorist rescued from flood-control channel after calling for help on cellphone

An Orange County motorist veered off the rain-slickened 5 Freeway in Irvine early Wednesday and plunged into a flood-control channel, but managed to call 911 on his cellphone as his car was filling up with water.

The accident occurred about 6:30 a.m. near Jamboree Boulevard, with the car falling about 15 to 20 feet into the water, said Capt. Greg McKeown.

As the car began filling with water, firefighters were able to secure the vehicle and throw a rope to the driver and pull him from the vehicle, McKeown said. The victim was suffering from hypothermia and was taken to a local hospital.

“It’s was pretty dramatic,” McKeown said of the rescue.

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