TOWANDA - A Towanda man was listed in fair condition at a local hospital Thursday night after the SUV he was driving left the Merrill Parkway in Towanda, traveled 60 to 70 feet down a steep embankment, and came to rest at the edge of the Susquehanna River, authorities said.

Michael Bormann, 23, was driving the SUV north on the Merrill Parkway at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday when it went off the east side of the roadway, crossed the Towanda-Monroeton rail line, crashed through a metal fence and traveled down the embankment, Towanda police said.

The vehicle, a Chevrolet, came to rest right-side up, partially in the river, Towanda Police Sgt. David Lantz said.

Bormann was able to extricate himself from the vehicle, Lantz said.

Emergency responders placed Bormann on a backboard and inside a rescue basket, which firefighters carried up the bank, Towanda First Assistant Fire Chief Bill Sheets said. Firefighters carrying the rescue basket were assisted by other emergency responders, who used a system of ropes and pulleys to help bring the rescue basket up the bank, he said.

Bormann was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Towanda, where he was transferred to an emergency medical helicopter. The helicopter flew him to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, police said.

"It doesn't appear that the car flipped or rolled over" as it traveled down the incline, Lantz said.

The driver's side airbag in the vehicle was deployed, police said.

Towanda police said they did not know if Bormann was wearing a seat belt.

Police are still investigating what caused the accident, Towanda Police Officer Bryan Bellows said.

Bormann was listed in fair condition at Robert Packer Hospital, a hospital spokesman said Thursday night.

The SUV also struck and knocked over a lamppost along the Merrill Parkway during the accident, Lantz said. The accident occurred between Chestnut Street and Packer Avenue.

Daily Review staff writer C.J. Marshall contributed to this report