Portland driver recounts rescue from submerged car

Jun 26, 2015

Mary Pline was rescued from a submerged car in the aftermath of this week's tornado in Portland.

After the tornado this week, Mary Pline was rescued from her submerged car.
Credit WLNS/Ionia County Sheriff's Office

Amid the challenges faced by residents of Portland following this week’s tornado, one alarming incident stands out. Very early Tuesday morning, 52-year old Mary Pline was on her way to work when her car hit standing water near Charlotte Highway and Tupper Lake Road.  The vehicle hydroplaned into a field of standing water and began to drift. Soon it was in water between four and five feet deep, and its driver was unable to open a door or break a window.

Desperate, Mary Pline positioned herself in an air pocket and called 9-1-1 on her cell phone. Deputies from the Ionia County Sheriff’s Department, Brian Banks and Chelsea Casul, arrived and freed her, but Pline spent some alarmed minutes wondering if she might not survive.

Current State talks with Pline about the incident.