Car runs off Kelly Drive, into river

August 8, 2008 10:17:42 AM PDT
A wild ride for one driver ended in the Schuylkill River this morning. The man apparently missed a curve along Kelly Drive and ended up driving into the water. The man swam to safety, but the car sank to the bottom! Unlucky for him, the accident landed the 19-year-old in police custody.

Curious spectators gathered as crews pulled the water-logged Buick out of the Schuylkill. Bill Ban and Erica Sollberger had been rowing on the river when the driver lost control on a curve and took the plunge.

Bill tells us, "This was not like a car that goes to the edge, teeters, then goes in. This was like a Charles Bronson movie. This car goes flying into the water."

Police identify the driver as 19-year-old Michael Lamb of the 4900 block of Franklin Street. He was able to get out of the car, before it sank.

Sollberger says, "He seemed to move from the driver's side to the passenger's side to get out of the car. He either opened the window or opened the door, and kind of, we saw him all of a sudden launch himself out of the car into the river, and he seemed to be swimming."

The rowers called 911. A passerby helped Lamb get out of the river. Medics determined he was OK, but police discovered he was driving without a license... and wanted on an outstanding bench warrant.

Even though he was taken into custody, police say he was lucky not only because he survived, but because no one else was hurt.

Lamb remains in police custody on that outstanding bench warrant. No word yet on who's going to pick up the tab for this morning's salvage effort.

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