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Man Rescued After Car Plunges Into Charles River During Cambridge Crash

BOSTON (CBS) – A car plunged into the Charles River Tuesday morning following a crash in Cambridge. The car crashed through a metal barrier before going into the water.

A 40-year-old Burlington man, later identified as Ronaldo Kamers, was rescued from the water following the crash, which left his 2013 Subaru Outback completely submerged.

It happened just after 6:30 a.m. on Memorial Drive at the Western Ave. Bridge.

A car in the Charles River. (Anna Meiler/WBZ-TV)

Thalita Francischetti helped her father Ronald Kamers as he arrived home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

"He said it was like being in a movie, he didn't belive it was happening to him, he got very scared. But in the moment, the adrenaline, you just think, how can I survive?" Francischetti said. "He thought about the sunroof and then he looked and saw that it was a little bit broken so he started hitting it with his head."

A boat with a crew team in the area pulled the man on board and brought him to waiting firefighters.

Kamers was taken to Beth Israel to head injuries and a gash on his leg. No one else was in the car.

The car was lifted out of the water by a crane just before 8 a.m.

ronald kamers (1)
Ronald Kamers (Courtesy Photo)

Deputy Fire Chief Sean White said the driver was fortunate the safety boat with the crew team was in the area.

"Timing was working in his favor this morning with the crew boat right there on scene right at the moment it happened and able to secure him until we got there, that was good timing for him," White said.

John Lindberg was among those to help rescue the man.

"Out of the corner of my eye I saw an object come out over the wall and it was a car. I was just hoping he'd be able to get out, and thankfully the gentleman popped up. He was a little distraught, in shock and needed to be stabilized a little bit," Lindberg said. "Lucky in terms of timing and in terms of having people nearby to help out."

Carol Hill witnessed the crash aftermath. Hill has lived in the area for about 30 years and said she has never seen anything like it.

"I couldn't believe it and then I walked out here. I said how did this happen? My goodness, it's terrible," Hill said.

Crews remove a car that crashed into the Charles River. (WBZ-TV)

A damaged commercial pickup truck was stopped near the scene of the crash. A witness told Massachusetts State Police the truck ran a red light and struck the Subaru, causing the Subaru to go off the road and into the river.

Massachusetts State Police said the 2018 Ford 350 pickup is owned by a construction company and was being driven by a 29-year-old Lynn man. The driver was not hurt.

The truck driver will be summonsed on charges of failure to stop/yield and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration.

Francischetti acknowledges that her father got lucky. "The car could have easily been flipped and he wouldn't be able to leave. So God saved him."

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