A dramatic rescue took place at approximately 8:00 this morning near the Mid-American office just east of Knoxville. A minivan driven by Kathleen VanSteenwyk lost control on T-15 and slid into a pond. According to the Marion County Sheriff’s office, two passing motorists, Tony Gerdom and Bryon Ford Jr., both from the Knoxville area, entered freezing water and worked to free the woman from the vehicle.
Larry Kerr with Mid-American Energy tells KNIA KRLS crews that Mid-American employees saw the rescue begin and rushed to assist with ropes. Kerr reports that a rescuer freed Vansteenwyk from the vehicle by breaking a window with a tire iron. As soon as she was pulled from the car, it sank. Mid-American employees pulled the woman and a rescuer to shore with ropes. Vansteenwyk was transported to Knoxville Hospital and Clinics and was treated and released.
Tony Gerdom was also transported, treated and released. The Marion County Sheriff’s office, the Knoxville FD, PD and Knoxville Rural FD responded to the call.
Click below to hear audio from Larry Kerr describing the rescue