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Woman survives crash into Clear Creek, stranger comes to rescue

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- A car went off the road in Clear Creek Canyon and plunged down a cliff into Clear Creek Tuesday, and a stranger came to the rescue of the elderly driver.

It happened just after 10 a.m. along US Hwy. 6.

A woman driving a silver Subaru lost control of her car, rolled down an embankment and landed in Clear Creek. It's amazing she survived.

"The vehicle landed on its wheels, which was good," says Colorado State Patrol spokesman Nate Reid. "It only rolled one complete time, so that's pretty good."

Rescuers used the "jaws of life" to cut 87-year-old Irma Sandau out of the crumpled car. She walked away from the wreck with minor injuries.

We can all learn a lesson from this crash, and that's to avoid any distractions while driving. Sandau told investigators she was swatting at a fly and that caused her to lose control.

The roads were dry and she hit a guardrail, which slowed her vehicle down and helped her survive.

"If she is swatting a fly or somebody has a sneezing attack, they still have to control their car," Reid says. "If it's a fly and it has to be swatted, maybe we have to pull our car over to the side of the road."

Sandau received a ticket for careless driving.

There were original reports of a second person needing rescue, but it turns out that person was a Good Samaritan who stopped to help Sandau.

Investigators say he took off before they could get his name.