Students struggle to rescue motorist

Auburn native part of lifesaving attempt at Trinity River
By: Richard Simms Journal Correspondent
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Despite acts of heroism by a group of Chico State students, including one from Auburn, a man presumably drowned in the Trinity River after his car swerved off of Highway 299 Saturday afternoon. According to the Chico Enterprise Record, 58-year-old Shasta Lake resident Patrick Hume missed a curve in his 1974 MGB around 2 p.m. Saturday. After falling 150 feet off an embankment, the car sank into 30 feet of water, according to the Record’s report. Immediately following the crash, Auburn native Sam Padilla dove into the river and attempted to save Hume. Padilla was taking part in a rafting trip with Wildcat Recreation Center’s Adventure Outings group. According to the Record, Padilla dove down after the submerged vehicle then cut open the convertible top before removing the seatbelt. A non-responsive Hume did not budge, and Padilla had to go to the surface for air. Members of the Adventure Outings group then saw the body floating down the rapids. Padilla’s mother, Karen Padilla, told the Journal Tuesday she was not surprised at the way her son reacted. “Sam called and told me what had happened afterward. I knew he would react that way. He loves the outdoors, is an Eagle Scout, and has always been prepared for this type of tragic event. I’m proud of him,” Padilla said. When asked about how her son was doing after the incident she expressed his sense of humbled modesty. Sam Padilla declined to comment. “Sam doesn’t like the attention on him, and feels his role is being stretched. He says it was a group effort and everybody did something to help,” Padilla said. According to the California Highway Patrol, Hume’s body had not been recovered as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, but the search is ongoing.