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Posted on Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Firefighters rescue man after he fell more than 30 feet into water

By Cole Bertsos

Editor's note: The name of the body of water the man fell into has been clarified.

Ypsilanti firefighters pulled a man out of the Huron River near the intersection of Forest and Rice streets in Ypsilanti this morning after he rolled under the guard rail, said Lt. Scott Maddison of the Ypsilanti Fire Department.

According to Maddison, a woman walking her dog around 7:30 a.m. saw the man "stagger and stumble" down Forest Street and then walk down the railroad trestle near the intersection. The woman called police after the man fell and rolled under the cables which act as a guard rail.

The Ypsilanti Police Department and the Ypsilanti Fire Department both responded to the call.

Maddison said the man, who he guessed to be about 50 years old, fell between 30 and 35 feet before hitting the water and was face down when a firefighter entered the river to retrieve him. Initially, the man was unresponsive.

Firefighters carried the man up to the street, where he was transported by Huron Valley Ambulance to the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital emergency room. Maddison said in the ambulance he was responsive when someone got his attention but not speaking. He also was being treated for severe hypothermia.

The woman who called for help said it was unclear why the man was staggering and it's unknown if there was alcohol involved. It also is unknown if the man was an Ypsilanti resident.

His condition after being taken to the emergency room was unavailable.


Cindy Heflin

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

Authorities could not provide additional information Monday about the victim's condition or the reason for the accident.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

Really people? I am sure each one of you complaining about the spelling, the grammar, the journalism skills, or any other items not pertinent to the actual story itself is perfect. Right?? The man is lucky to be alive and lucky that a passer-by (oh, is that one word or two?) chose to get involved. Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:02 a.m.

What makes you think he's lucky to be alive? Perhaps he'd be luckier the other way around. In this inequitable society, being alive isn't all it's cracked up to be.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 3:09 p.m. In the forefront of translating American English INT0 Gibberish. ;) Unclear at this hour is; once the man went IN TO the water what he went IN for or why he went TO the water. Perhaps he was going OUT TO the water but unintentionally became LODGED IN the cold water which caused him to suffer hypothermia. So he was taken OUT TO the hospital and LODGED IN the hospital. It's also unclear why the man was staggering, but now that we're all staggered, we might think of throwing ourselves off a bridge INTO the water. ;)

Paprika Z

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

I thought into was one word, not two.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

It sounds like he fell in something called "to water".


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

You are correct. :-)


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

I thought firefighters was one word, not two.

Cindy Heflin

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

We've corrected the usage of firefighters and into in the headline. We're also working this morning to get an update on the man's condition. It's often difficult to get updates on these situations when no name is released.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

"firefighter" is used instead of "fireman" because there are many females who fight fires as a profession. So people who actually work in that job are careful to use "firefighter." English usage can be tricky because it can be a matter of which word is preferred by individual speakers and writers. But at they make it REALLY tricky by making really odd preferential selections. Examples include selecting "fire fighter" instead of "firefighter", "lodged" instead of "jailed" or "confined" or "held", using "bullets" instead of "cartridges" (alternatively, using "bullets" instead of "ammunition") - and in the headline for this article they use "in to" instead of "into."


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 3:23 a.m.

What LAKE is near Forest and Rice street?


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 3:01 a.m., was he taken to St. Joseph of Ann Arbor, St. Joseph of Ypsilanti or St. Joseph of Superior Township?


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

This part of the reporting made me chuckle: "Random Passerby didn't know anything about the man she happened to see from a distance. Somehow, she didn't know where he lived or what had occurred in his life prior to the moment she happened to see him." Funny.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 12:24 a.m.

If the Huron was sitting still, I guess it could be called a lake.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

more like a puddle....

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.



Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

@ ArgoC, re: "Hurray for dog walkers in general." Yup. We're the people who are out there every day, two to three times a day, rain or shine. We cross paths with the other dog walkers, and are on a first-name basis with them (or at least with their dogs!) We talk about stuff that looks out of the ordinary, and clean it up, fix it, or call it in. The closest thing to beat cops that there is these days.

An Unknown Person

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

That street along Frog Island Park has two names. At the Forest Ave, end it is indeed called Market Place, but at the Cross St. end it is called Rice St.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

I think the point of all the attempts at pinpointing the location is that when locals read an article like this we are envisioning the location and how it happened. In this case trying to envision it, I was confused. A map probably would have helped. I do hope the fellow is okay. And kudos to the emergency responder and the dog walker from us fellow citizens.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 12:08 a.m.

The street that intersects East Cross just west of Fantasy Attic, running north past Frog Island to intersect East Forest right at the railroad tracks, has street signs at the northern end reading "Forest" and "Rice". The signpost at the southern end has only "Cross", with no sign settling what that end should be called. (The entire street is called "Rice" on maps from the city, county, and state; only google maps disagrees.) No lake was found at either end of the street, though the Huron River is very near. (This piece of investigative journalism was undertaken just now by me and my dog, though our work here in no way compares with the heroism of the original dog & walker in the article.)


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

Exactly. The street at Forest is Market Pl. The section where it meets Cross St is Rice St.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

Is this actually Forest Avenue and Market Place in Ypsilanti? If so, did he fall into the Huron River, not a lake?

Chaz H

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

I would say you have to be correct, or else Forest was not the street. There is no Rice street that intersects Forest, nor is there a lake near it. But there is indeed a train trestle over the Huron right by Forest and Market. Norris is the next closest cross street, which I guess kind of sounds like "Rice."


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

Hurray for dog walkers in general. Just sayin'.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 2:59 a.m.

Thank you for getting involved. You saved that mans life.