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Weekend brings car fire, car into Mahoning Creek

February 6, 2012

This Pontiac Grand AM is shown early Saturday morning as it was pulled out of Mahoning Creek along Route 119 by Rebuck's South Side Service. The vehicle, which was driven by Josette Wright of Punxsutawney, was traveling south on Route 310 when, for unknown reasons, it traveled into Riker Yard over the railroad tracks and into the creek. (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Fire Department responded to two emergency calls that were reported at the same time at 3:22 a.m. Saturday.

Elk Run Volunteer Fire Company was the recipient of both calls, a car fire at a residence along Route 310, Young Township, Harmony, and a car that was driven into the Mahoning Creek at the Route 310 and Route 119 intersection.

Punxsutawney Fire Department Chief Bryan Smith ordered Elk Run to go to the car fire and Central Fire Department to respond to the car into the creek.

According to Punxsutawney Borough Police, a Pontiac Grand AM driven by Josette Wright, Punxsutawney, was traveling south on Route 310 when, for unknown reasons, she drove through the intersection of Route 119 and 310, over the railroad tracks in Riker Yard and into the Mahoning Creek, with the nose of the car face down in the water.

Borough Police Officer Pat Renwick went into the water to rescue Wright, the lone occupant, who was then transported to Punxsutawney Area Hospital by police. Police said she was not injured in the crash.

According to police, no reason was given as to why Wright drove her vehicle over the tracks and into the creek.

It took nearly two hours for Rebuck's South Side Service to pull the vehicle from the creek, due to the heavy brush and trees at that location.

Police said Wright is being investigated for DUI. No charges have been filed.

Meanwhile, at the car fire, an Oldsmobile was extinguished with water and foam by Elk Run firefighters within a few minutes after arriving on scene.

Doug McAfoos, Elk Run fire chief, said it was unclear whether or not the vehicle had been running at the time the blaze broke out.

McAfoos said the investigation has been turned over to the state police fire marshal.

There were no injuries McCalmont assisted at the scene.

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