Good Samaritan helps rescue driver from Grand River after crash

PERRY TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - A Good Samaritan helped rescue a woman from the freezing Grand River after an accident Thursday morning.

The accident happened just before 8AM on Vrooman Road at the Grand River in Perry Township.

It was reported that a vehicle had driven off the roadway and was submerged in the Grand River.   

When Deputies and rescue arrived, they found that a blue 2009 Kia Rio, which had been traveling northbound on Vrooman Road, was submerged in the Grand River.  However, it was immediately made clear that the driver and no other occupants were inside the vehicle when rescue units arrived.

The accident investigation showed that the vehicle had been driven by 42-year-old Noel Bottesch.

Due to suspected medical issues, Bottesch drove off the right side of the roadway, over an embankment, and into the river.  As the vehicle began to sink in approximately 12 feet of water, Bottesch, who was the lone occupant in the car, was able to climb out of the vehicle through the driver's side window.

At that moment, an unknown man, who was passing when the accident occurred, dove into the water and assisted the woman to the shore line. The man then left the scene prior to being identified for his heroic actions.  

Bottesch was transported to Tri-point Medical Center in Concord Township, and was then flown via Life-Flight to Cleveland Metro Trauma Center for treatment for hypothermia.  The Lake County Sheriff's Office Dive Team, headed by Deputy Donovan Buchs, was able to assist in recovery of the vehicle from the bottom of the river.  

The Lake County Sheriff's Office is still investigating this accident, and is still working to identify the Good Samaritan.

Alberta Manzi, the mother of Noel Bottesch, had this to say concerning her daughter's condition:

Noel is currently healing at MetroHealth in Cleveland and is in good spirits. I am extremely thankful for the good Samaritans who helped Noel out of the water and stayed with her until EMS arrived. I am thankful that God watched over Noel today.
Today has been a difficult day for our family. We ask the community to continue to keep Noel in their thoughts and prayers, but hope that the media will respect our privacy during Noel's recovery.

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