Modesto firefighters rescued a man from the Tuolumne River on Saturday night after he fell more than 30 feet from a railroad trestle near the Seventh Street Bridge and into the cold water, according to authorities.
Stanislaus County sheriff’s Lt. Marc Nuno identified the man as Barney Wallace.
Nuno said Wallace was in the water for about an hour. Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Jesse Nicasio said firefighters were dispatched just before 11 p.m.
Nicasio said the man in the river was clinging to vegetation but not able to let go and swim to safety. He said deputies could hear the man but not spot him with their flashlights. “He was basically in deep water ... and unable to get himself to the shore,” Nicasio said.
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Firefighters went to the other side of the river and tossed ropes toward Wallace, but he was unable to grab them. Two firefighters wearing life jackets then entered the river, and one swam to Wallace. Firefighters used a rope to bring the rescuer and Wallace to the riverbank.
Wallace was taken to the hospital. His condition was not known Sunday afternoon.
It took firefighters about 20 minutes to rescue Wallace.
Nuno said sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Mitchell was on patrol when he heard someone yelling for help from the river. Four deputies joined the effort to rescue Wallace.