'The airbags deployed and I prayed'

'The airbags deployed and I prayed' »Play Video

CLARK COUNTY - A driver and his dog are lucky to be alive after the minivan they were in plowed through a cyclone fence, went down an embankment and plunged into Salmon Creek on Thursday.

Scott Calderon was headed south on Highway 99 a little after 10 a.m. when he swerved to miss a utility truck and a barricade at the end of Klineline Bridge, which is closed.

The bridge's barricade is clearly marked, so how did Calderon (pictured on the right) end up in the mess he did? Well, it all started with his small dog, a chihuahua.

"He got trapped under the brake and I tried to kick him loose," said Calderon, who also had a cup of coffee in one hand and a cell phone in the other to contend with.

"The airbags deployed and I prayed," he said.

His prayers were answered.  The impact shattered the minivan's side windows but the vehicle landed nose up out of the water.

A nearby utility crew saw the minivan go over the edge. 

"And (they) went down the embankment to check on the passenger, or the driver of the vehicle, and secured the vehicle with a rope to make sure that it didn't go further down the creek," said Leah Edwards with Clark County Fire District 6.

Rescue crews spent two hours setting up a pulley system and hauling Calderon to safety.  He was sore but otherwise fine.  His dog was OK as well.