What began as a rather ordinary traffic crash on Highway 29 Thursday night ended with a somewhat bizarre raging water rescue in what, moments before, had been a dry ditch.
Three vehicles — an older Ford Econoline conversion van and two pickups — were involved in the crash on northbound Highway 29 just south of 9 1/2 Mile Road at Dave Howell Tires just before 6 p.m.
The van ran off the roadway and into a fairly shallow ditch. And there’s when the situation quickly changed.
It appeared the van struck and sheared off a fire hydrant, causing the ditch to rapidly fill with water and become a raging river that washed away the shoulder of the roadway.
Escambia County Fire Rescue Special Operations was called to the scene to rescue the van occupant.
According to witness accounts, the firefighters appeared to almost be swept away as the ground collapsed and a good Samaritan rushed into help.