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Infrared aerial video: Police officers form human chain to rescue injured suspect from Mass. river

HOLYOKE, Mass. — A group of police officers formed a human chain to rescue an injured man from a Massachusetts river after he allegedly fled a traffic stop, infrared aerial video showed.

The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing was patrolling the skies over the Holyoke area when troopers onboard learned that another trooper’s cruiser had been struck while conducting a nearby traffic stop, according to the law enforcement agency.

In a statement, state police said, “The vehicle that had been stopped for violations, without warning, reversed into the trooper’s cruiser and fled the area. The vehicle was quickly located abandoned near Saint Kolbe Drive in Holyoke.”

As the crews began to search the area for the suspect, troopers operating the aircraft’s infrared camera spotted a person ducking behind a wall along the bank of the Connecticut River and directed Holkyoke officers and troopers on the ground to that location, according to state police.

State police noted that the man was struggling in the water of the river and suffering from an apparent injury. Troopers and officers then formed a human chain to hoist him to safety.

“MSP and Holyoke officers deployed their water rescue throw-bags to help keep the man above water long enough to lower a life vest. Now in the water for some time, the man began to show signs of hypothermia,” state police said. “With the man close to going under, more than a dozen Holyoke Officers and MSP Troopers formed a chain to hoist the injured man to safety.”

The man, who investigators later determined to be the suspect who fled the initial traffic stop, was rushed to a local hospital for treatment.

The incident remains under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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