Police, drivers pull together in icy rescue from water main break

Water from main break on Gratiot Avenue near Conner Street floods area

Two Detroit police officers jumped into action Friday riding on a front-end loader to rescue two people who were trapped in icy flood waters because of a water main break on the city's east side.

Detroit Police Sgt. Jamal Hamood and his partner, Steven Triner, held on as the loader moved through the massive flood on Gratiot Avenue near Conner Street.
Hamood told Local 4 the water was dangerously creeping into a stranded van and car.

"There was water up to their seats. They were crouched up on their seats on the car.

They weren't sure if they could even move their legs. We weren't sure if we could even get them out of the vehicle," Hamood said. "But we were able to pull them out. Thank God. They were OK."

Tyree Jones was one of the people rescued.

"I just thank them for coming out and saving me and being there for me," Jones said.

Drivers told Local 4 the water levels were hard to see before daybreak and it froze so quickly there was no traction to back out.

"It was freezing. It was so cold my pants were stuck to my skin," said driver Ricky Coleman.

George Shumaker and Clinton Westover work at the same business in Warren. They're also both Navy veterans and worked together to pull Shumaker out.

"You just do what you got to do," Wesover said.

No one hurt, but Hamood said it certainly was a tense situation.

"I've never done a rescue like this before. This was something new. I'm happy they're OK," he said.

The cleanup and fix of the main is expected to take all weekend.

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