A Cloverdale teenager escaped serious injury Wednesday evening when his sport utility vehicle left the road and landed in Big Walnut Creek.
Christopher J. Wiggs was westbound on Creek Road in Madison Township when he hit a pothole in the gravel road. The impact caused the rear end of his 1995 Jeep Wrangler to bounce to the right.
With the front of the vehicle pointed to the left -- and toward the creek -- the 16-year-old lost control of the Jeep, which left the roadway, struck an embankment, became airborne and landed in the stream several hundred feet east of Oakalla Covered Bridge.
The water was deep enough to submerge all but about 12 inches of the vehicle, but Wiggs was able to escape through the back and swim to shore.
The teen had a mobile phone with him, but it was submerged inside the vehicle, so he attempted to walk to a residence to call authorities.
When emergency personnel were alerted, Putnam County Sheriff's deputy Matt Biggs and the Greencastle Fire Department responded to the scene.
Based on the location of the SUV in the middle of the stream and a strong current in the area, responders decided to leave the vehicle in the stream overnight until it could safely be recovered.
On Thursday Biggs spoke to the driver's father, who said Steele's Wrecker Service had safely recovered the vehicle from the stream.