Search for car driven into Kalamazoo River continues

BC crews still searching for car in Kzoo River

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - Divers and firefighters were continuing their search Saturday afternoon in Battle Creek for a car believed to be in the Kalamazoo River.

Battle Creek police were called at 4:44 a.m. Saturday by a motorist who reported seeing a car leave Dickman Road near Capital Avenue and plunge into the river.

Battle Creek police and Battle Creek firefighters began to search but could not find a car.

Battle Creek Police Sgt. Chad Fickle said a video camera at the Treehouse Foods Inc., 150 S. McCamly St. recorded a car in the river passing the cereal plant. He said some debris believed from the car was found downstream.

Divers from the Area Law Enforcement Underwater Recovery Team have taken positions where the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers converge just west of the Washington Street Bridge.

Divers have been in the water, tethered with long ropes, as they search in the swift current. One diver had to leave the river because the current was so strong the pull on his safety harness restricted his breathing.

Sgt. Brent Lincoln of the Calhoun County Sheriff Department, said a helicopter from the Michigan State Police searched for about an hour but could not see evidence of the car.

Battle Creek firefighters launched a small boat at Jackson Street and Stringham Road before sunrise and traveled to the convergence of the two rivers but didn't find the car.

Lincoln said Emmett Township is providing another boat for the search. Searchers in that boat used poles to search the bottom of the river including the concrete channel that carries the river through downtown before it merges with the Battle Creek River.

Late Saturday officials said they were waiting for a sonar unit from Kalamazoo in hopes it would detect the car.

Fickle said police have not received any notification of a missing person or car.

The site of the crash is about the same as one in October when a westbound vehicle left the roadway and crashed through a fence in the river. That car floated to the Washington Street bridge before it stopped. The driver was rescued by Battle Creek officers.

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Contact Trace Christenson at 269-966-0685 or tchrist@battlecreekenquirer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TSChristenson

(© 2017 Battle Creek Enquirer)


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