Hampton residents react to fire truck accident along Mississippi River

The truck was stolen from East Moline

HAMPTON, Ill. - Shocked and stunned.
 
That's how people in Hampton feel, after watching a fire truck crash along the shore of the Mississippi River.
 
The driver was 40-year old Nathan Stottler. 
Police say he stole the fire engine from East Moline, and drove to Hampton when he crashed.
That's  when police closed in.
 
"The suspect then jumped into the river, and tried to elude officers," said East Moline Police Captain Tom Reagan.
 
Police eventually arrested Stottler. 
 
Some neighbors watched the whole situation unfold right from their front lawns.
 
"I heard a great big bam, and like I said, I thought it was the railroad doing something," says Sharon Ayers. "I came around the house, and seen a fire engine face down, over the river bank. So, I was just like 'That's a fire engine!"
 
Ayers immediately called 9-1-1.
She says saving stottler's life became her number one priority.
 
"He just kept falling down, and getting back up, and waving his hands like he's talking to himself," Ayers recalled. "And, I just kept thinking... That's a human life out there. We've got to get him some help. You don't know what's going on."
 
Despite the bizarre event, people are hoping for a quick return to normalcy, for the quiet neighborhood.
 
"I don't see it as anything that's going to happen every day," says Mary Jane Nelson. "Since I've lived here 81 years, and this is the very first time."
 
"I'm just glad the sun's still shining over the water, and stuff is back to normal out here," said Ayers.
 

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