HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Three people from Huntington fought for their lives in a tubing accident on the Wabash River, near the Roush Reservoir dam.
One of the victims, Jerrika Huffman, 24, called the Huntington County Sheriffs Department around 9:20 Wednesday night. She was also swept off an inflatable tube but was able to make it to safety.
The other victims, Nathan Wright, 21, and Joni Wininger, 29, were still in the river at the time. Huffman told police they were clinging to branches, unable to swim to shore.
A rescue boat from the Huntington City Fire Department was able to reach the remaining victims and bring them to safety. Huffman and Wininger were both taken to Huntington Parkview Hospital for possible injuries. Wright refused medical treatment.
Police said none of the victims had life jackets on, and at least one of them couldn’t swim.
“We are very fortunate to not have had any loss of life in this incident. If not for the quick actions of the Huntington Fire Department, Joni and Nathan might not have survived. All three are lucky to be alive, and we can not stress enough to wear your life jackets when on or near the water,” investigating officer Jerry Hoerdt said.
Huffman, Wright and Wininger were all cited by Indiana Conservation officers for not wearing life jackets.
Huntington County Sheriffs Department, Mount Etna Fire Department, Andrews Fire Department and Huntington County Technical Rescue Team all assisted in the rescue.