AUBURN — A man and a woman escaped their sinking truck Thursday night after crashing into the Androscoggin River along North River Road.
The couple was able to crawl out through the windows as water rushed in following the 7:15 p.m. wreck.
Witnesses said that as the couple scrambled to shore, the truck sank roughly 20 feet from the edge of the road.
“When it finally sank, it was nose-down,” said Sarah Raymond, who lives nearby. “It’s pretty deep right there.”
The couple who survived the crash said they had been staying at a Center Street hotel less than a mile from the crash site. Their names were not immediately available.
The man who was the driver told police that after driving into the river, he tried to smash out the windows to escape.
“I was trying and trying and trying,” he said. “She was screaming. The water was coming up all around us.”
Bob Raymond, Sarah’s husband, had been driving home when he came upon the crash scene.
“I saw the truck floating out there and the lady climbing out,” he said. “Help those people, that’s all I was thinking about.”
Raymond rushed to the edge of the river as the couple emerged from the water. Police and rescue crews who arrived wrapped blankets around the wet pair as they shivered in the cool air.
Raymond said by the time he made sure the man and woman were all right, the truck had sunk.
“Before I knew it,” he said, “it was gone.”
As rescue crews arrived, the truck could not be seen from the edge of the river. Police were arranging to have a tow crew retrieve the truck, but said it may not happen until Friday morning.
It was not immediately clear what caused the driver to lose control. When he crashed, the truck slipped a space between two trees about the width of the truck.
The crash remained under investigation later Thursday night.