BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - A search will resume Sunday for a missing car and whomever was inside it when it crashed into the Kalamazoo River Saturday.
Teams of divers, police officers and firefighters searched for 13 hours Saturday without finding the car. The search ended about 6 p.m. Saturday because of the cold and approaching darkness.
The search was concentrated on about a mile of the Kalamazoo River from Dickman Road and Capital Avenue where the crash was reported to Battle Creek police at 4:44 a.m. Saturday.
Sgt. Brent Lincoln of the Calhoun County Sheriff Department said divers from the Area Law-Enforcement Underwater Recovery Team will work with police and firefighters to search farther down the river.
Battle Creek police said a motorist reported that the small car passed his vehicle at a high speed then went off the road and disappeared. Police found evidence of a crash into the concrete channel and later obtained video from Treehouse Foods, Inc., at 150 S. McCamly St. showing a small car in the river floating past the factory, with lights still illuminated.
Lincoln said water in the river was traveling about 20 miles per hour and levels were high. The car was not found during a search, both on foot and in a boat, of the channel. Much of the search was concentrated at the end of the channel where the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers converge just west of Washington Street. He said water was eight to 20 feet deep.
Divers were tethered and walked in some sections of the river. Boats from the Battle Creek Fire Department and the Emmett Township Department of Public Safety were also used but without success. Underwater divers attempting to search had to be pulled out of the river because the current was so swift they were unable to breathe because of pressure on their safety harness.
A Michigan State Police helicopter flew over the river for about an hour but was not able to see the car and a sonar unit was used late Saturday afternoon without success.
Sgt. Chad Fickle of the Battle Creek Police Department said Sunday no reports of missing persons have been received. The car is described as a small new gray or silver sedan believed to be a Hyundai. A portion of the front bumper was located in the river Saturday.
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Battle Creek Enquirer