WESTERLY — The Westerly police reported Tuesday that an employee of the Malted Barley had rescued a New Jersey motorist who had driven into the Pawcatuck River.

In an incident report, Patrol Officer Colby Bostek said that dispatchers called at about 12:20 a.m. to report a vehicle in the water, and that Officer Kainen Bressette said he had seen it "almost fully submerged and sinking in the river behind the Malted Barley," at 42 High St., but could not see any people.

Police checked the area and found the driver, Andreas B. Barbero, 23, of Wall, N.J., and the restaurant employee, Kyle Driscoll, 25, of Ashaway, who were out of the flow of water and sitting on a rock below the railing of the Brown Building, the report said.

Since the police could not reach them safely, they threw flotation devices to the men, and a rope attached to a railing along the river behind the Brown Building. A boat was dispatched to pick them up. Both men were brought to safety and were evaluated by Westerly Ambulance personnel.

The police learned that the vehicle had gone into the water off Cogswell Street in Pawcatuck. The police then spoke with Driscoll, who told them that he had gone out back on break "when he heard a loud splash and observed the vehicle begin to float past him. Driscoll stated that is when he jumped into the river and was able to pull the driver, Barbero, out through the broken driver's side window."

Police continued to look for the vehicle, from the area of the Malted Barley to the boat launch on Margin Street, for any signs of it. As of early evening on Tuesday, the police still had not found the vehicle, according to Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey.

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