VIDEO: Pond Life: Car Thief Abandons Pregnant Girlfriend After Crashing Into Freezing River
A heavily pregnant woman who cannot swim was pulled out of a river by police after her boyfriend crashed a stolen truck into the water and fled.
The dramatic rescue took place at the Tualatin River, in Washington County, Oregon, after a police chase, in the early hours of March 30.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that on March 30 at 2:08 a.m., a Washington County Sheriff’s Office sergeant contacted a vehicle parked on the side of the road near the Tualatin River.
“The woman told the sergeant the vehicle, a 1992 Nissan pickup, was out of gas, and her boyfriend was on his way to get more. The female told the sergeant they did not need any assistance,” the statement said.
“The sergeant began to drive away, but soon learned the truck was stolen. The sergeant and several deputies attempted to contact the woman and vehicle again, but the vehicle drove off as they approached.”
According to the statement, deputies saw a male was driving the vehicle, and the female they contacted earlier was in the passenger seat. They tried to pull the vehicle over, but it sped away and turned into a nearby field adjacent to the Tualatin River. The truck’s driver drove through the field for about 300 yards, off a steep embankment, and into the Tualatin River.
The driver climbed out of the vehicle and swam to the far riverbank before running off into the woods with a dog that was with the couple.
The police said:
“The female passenger exited the vehicle and yelled to deputies that she could not swim as she began to float down the river in the current,” the statement said.
One deputy jumped into the river and swam to the woman. Another deputy threw a rope. The woman told the officers she was six months pregnant.
The sheriff’s office said that officers “took care to ensure she was safely brought to the shore” and “searched for the male driver and dog but did not locate them.”
The pregnant woman was taken to a nearby hospital and later released with no significant injuries.
“The male driver was not located and has been identified as 32-year-old Jonathan Michael Laura,” the sheriff’s office said.
Later that morning, deputies, with the help of the Remotely Operated Vehicle Team and Washington County Animal Services, located the missing dog safe and unharmed.
Shortly after noon, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol assisted deputies and successfully removed the stolen vehicle from the Tualatin River.
The manhunt for Laura continues.
Edited by Fern Siegel and Kristen Butler