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UHP Trooper captures amazing canal rescue with body camera

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Posted at 9:39 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-26 20:39:20-04

FIELDING, Utah – A Utah Highway Patrol trooper caught amazing footage on his police body camera of first responders rescuing a man who was pinned in the wreckage of his car after he crashed it into a canal in Fielding on Friday. First responders in Box Elder County joined efforts to free the man while his car was being pulled under water.

Sgt. Joshua Carr was wearing the body camera when emergency crews rescued 45-year-old Fielding resident Paul Sleight, whose legs were pinned between the driver’s seat and the dash board of his vehicle Friday afternoon.

“His initial statements to us was that he had either drifted off, dozed off or he didn’t remember how he ended up in the bottom of the canal,” Carr said.

Carr says a Good Samaritan called 9-1-1 after spotting debris on the side of the road at 17700th North and 4400 West.

“He stopped and investigated more why the car parts were sitting on the side of the road,” Car said. “And it wasn’t until then that he discovered a vehicle in the canal because it was so close to the canal bank with the weeds and the overgrowth. No one would’ve seen the individual down there.”

Around 1:30 p.m., fire crews and EMS crews arrived and helped get Sleight safely out of the water and back to the road.

“Fielding fire department got ladders off their engine, were able to get them in and help secure it,” said EMS Worker Corey Barton. “Several of their firefighters jumped in the water and surrounded the car also. They were then able to get the patient stabilized, secure to a backboard, and then brought up to the waiting ambulance.”

Emergency crews say it was their swift teamwork that allowed them to pull sleight to safety and the police body camera that showed the positive side of their work.

“It’s kind of one of those unique situations, it’s not something you run into everyday,” said Asst. Fire Chief Brian Garn with the Fielding Fire Department.

Sleight suffered several compound fractures to both of his legs.

He was life-flighted to Mckay Dee Hospital Friday afternoon where underwent several surgeries and is now in stable condition. Police are still investigated if alcohol was a factor in the crash. The officers who rescued Sleight say the story is a good reminder that average citizens can make a difference when they notice something is off or sense that someone is in trouble. In Sleight's case, his Good Samaritan saved his life.