Wife of St. Helena volunteer fire chief swept away in Colorado creek; 5-day search ongoing
SILVERTON, CO - Authorities in Colorado are searching for the wife of a Louisiana fire official after she was swept away in a creek Thursday.
Tommy and Tessie Strickland of Kentwood were traveling in a Jeep from Silverton, Colorado when their group was forced to cross Pole Creek.
Officials said while in the middle of a relatively small but fast stream, the Jeep stalled, according to The Durango Herald. The pair then attempted to jump from the vehicle and swim to shore. Tommy was able to make it to land, but Tessie was swept away.
Tommy was able to find a passerby who took him back to Silverton where he told authorities about his wife.
More than 25 emergency personnel are involved in the search, The Durango Herald reports.
Tommy is the chief for the St. Helena 6th Ward Volunteer Fire Department.
The St. Helena Fire Department says Tommy Strickland is okay, and his children are with him as he recovers in Colorado. They say the search for Tessie Strickland is ongoing, and dogs are now being used to search the area.