CARRABASSETT VALLEY — A runner is credited with saving the life of a former Coplin Plantation town clerk Friday, after he spotted the taillights of her car in the Carrabassett River next to Route 27.
Ivah Palmer, 82, of Coplin Plantation suffered a broken leg and other injuries and was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Carrabassett Valley Police Officer Courney Krause said.
Palmer was listed in good condition Friday night, a hospital official said.
Krause said Palmer was in the river about 20 minutes before Dave Koenig of Coplin Plantation spotted her 2001 Saab partially submerged on its roof just before noon. He and his golden retriever, Stanley, were running along the Narrow Gauge path across the river from Route 27.
Palmer was driving north, between Redington and Highland roads, the officer said, when her car went off the road, through a ditch for about 150 yards, over a rock embankment and onto its roof in the river.
Koenig, recalling the incident Friday afternoon, said he saw something red in the river and realized it was taillights so he and his dog "trudged, swam across the river" to Palmer's car.
Realizing he couldn't get her out of the car by himself, he climbed the riverbank to the highway and flagged down a couple, he said. The woman passenger took care of his dog while the driver and a Webber Energy driver, Michael Moore of Dixfield, helped him get Palmer.
She was wrapped in a blanket and placed in a car until NorthStar ambulance personnel arrived.
"I was in the right place at the right time," Koenig said. "It all happened so fast. She had a lot of stuff going for her today," he said.
Krause agreed. She said Palmer is fortunate Koenig spotted the taillights, because the car couldn't be seen from Route 27 and it was upside down in the cold water.
She called Koenig a hero.