Last weekend two men in their mid 30s were camping out at Horseshoe Bend along the banks of the Little Sioux River near Milford.
These two men have been friends for many, many years and have camped together hundreds of times. Everything on their camping trip was going along peacefully when about 5 a.m. one of the guys hears his car start up. His car was parked just in front of his tent so the noise was quite loud.
The next sounds that he heard were that of trees snapping and branches braking then came a loud sound of glass shattering and water splashing at the same moment.
He then crawled out of his mangled tent and checked to see if all of his body parts were intact when a stranger and fellow camper came up and ask if he was all right. The two quickly assessed the severity of the situation when they noticed the car had continued going straight and subsequently traveled down a 90-foot embankment into the river.
The car was now face down in the river due to the fact that the last seven feet or so was a straight drop-off. The two men then rushed down the steep embankment to help out the driver who was climbing out of the vehicle when they reached the bottom. Everyone was all right and no serious injuries reported.
For those of you who haven't guessed yet, the man who was sleeping in the tent and whose car nearly flattened him was me.
From what we gathered my friend was having a waking dream or simply sleep walking away from his own tent. Why he crawled into my car and didn't get in his own vehicle remains a mystery to everyone. He said he was under the impression that he was at work and driving a work truck from one job site to another. He even recalled while driving down the embankment that his foreman was next to him telling him to hit the gas because they had four-wheel drive.
Sadly, I think that four-wheel drive would have made little difference in my 92 Chevy Euro.
So after scratching our heads for a while trying to figure out how to get the car out the river it became obvious that we needed help.
I placed a call to the Dickenson County Communication Center and asked the nice lady to send out a Deputy and a wrecker. First to arrive on the scene was Keith Dannette, Overseer at the park and a heck of a nice guy. His daughter was in my high school class.
Next, Deputy Ed Lock arrived on the scene, a pleasant person who until that day I've never had the pleasure of meeting, and shortly afterwards, Bob's Auto Body and Towing came pulling in the park.
We described the event to the Deputy and he too was quite relieved that no one was hurt. It was at this time when Bob from Bob's Auto Body and Towing determined he had to go back into town to get some more tools and his other truck. After Bob left, an officer from the Milford Police Department came out.
Officer Bob Clark, now this man I have had the pleasure of meeting several, several times in my life. He didn't look all that surprised when he arrived on to the scene. Officer Clark did comment that it been along time since he had seen us boys. But after looking at the car in the river and us telling him what happen, and knowing whom he was talking too, nope, he wasn't surprised at all.
He did have a look about him that expressed "when will these boys ever grow up?" Like I said he was not surprised he looked more like he was just sick and tired of dealing with us. But in my defense it really has been a long time since Officer Clark had to deal with us boys.
Once Bob's Auto Body and Towing came back with his big truck it took about three hours to get the car up the bank. In that time Deputy Lock had to go on another call and the Bobs, along with Keith, went above and beyond helping us out and I want to personally thank them for all their hard work.
Sadly, the car could not be saved, but that's a small thing compared to everyone coming out alive.