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Local

Kayaker Saves Livermore Family After SUV Plunges Into River

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A kayaker paddles at night (Al Bello/Getty Images)

A kayaker paddles at night (Al Bello/Getty Images)

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KYBURZ, El Dorado County (CBS SF) – A kayaker rescued five members of a Livermore family after their SUV drove into the American River on Thursday, a California Highway Patrol sergeant said.

The crash was reported at 2:55 p.m. off of U.S. Highway 50 near Kyburz, a town approximately 75 miles east of Sacramento, Sgt. Mike Poore said.

The SUV went off the roadway and struck a concrete mile marker, a tree and a boulder before landing on its side in the river, he said.

Inside the SUV there was a mother, father and three daughters—twin 13-year-olds and a 4-year-old.

The daughters were able to escape the vehicle, which landed on its side in the river, Poore said. They stood on top of the car and got the attention of a passing kayaker, he said.

The kayaker took the girls to shore before returning for their mother and father, Poore said.

The father, 50-year-old Christian Lemler, suffered moderate to major injuries, but the injuries are not considered life-threatening, Poore said.

Lemler was taken to Marshall Hospital in Placerville.

The CHP learned of the crash when an officer en route to another accident was flagged down at about 3 p.m., he said.

The collision remains under investigation but Poore said it had been raining at the time and the roadway was slick.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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