The Dayton woman who was rescued from the Great Miami River on Thursday night after she drove her minivan into the water told police her brakes failed when she swerved to avoid a vehicle ahead of her on Rip Rap Road.
Taunya Jacobs, 42, was rescued from her partially submerged Nissan Quest after she decided to call for help on a cell phone from inside the vehicle. She went into the drink near Jackass Flats at about 7 p.m.
In a Dayton police incident report filed Friday afternoon, Jacobs told police she was headed south on Rip Rap at about 7 p.m. when a car in front of her “put on their brakes.”
Jacobs told police she tried to apply her brakes in an attempt to avoid a collision, but her brakes did not respond. She said she swerved and tried to come to a stop on the bike trail along side the river, but her vehicle continued through trees and into the water.
Huber Heights fire Battalion Chief Keith Knisley told News Center 7, “While she was floating down the river, she rolled the windows down and called us.”
At the time she was dialing, the van had filled halfway with water, Knisley said, noting, “She was wet from the waist down.”
Rescue crews suited up against the cold weather and water, then launched a boat to reach the vehicle, which was about 30 to 40 feet from the shore.
“They got her loaded up into a boat, tethered her to shore and took her to a hospital,” Knisley said, noting the woman was awake and talking and did not complain of any injuries. Jacobs was taken to Miami Valley Hospital.
She was in the water at least 10 minutes, Knisley said, and did a very wise thing by waiting in the car and not trying to swim. “It’s a lot easier to find someone in a car, than it is to find somebody who tries to swim out of the car.”