AUBURN, Wash. – A car driven by a 16-year-old girl and carrying two younger children plunged into a rain-swollen river Friday morning, and authorities said that the teen managed to escape but that there was not much hope for the other two.
Divers found the Volkswagen about 100 yards from where the distraught girl told authorities it went off a road into the Green River, authorities said. A tow truck and crew were brought in late morning to attempt to pull it out of the water, but recovery efforts were soon suspended.
Kent Fire Capt. Kyle Ohashi said conditions in the murky, fast-flowing river in suburban Seattle were too dangerous for the rescue crew.
The river has long been used as a dumping ground for cars, making it difficult to identify the right one, Ohashi said. He said earlier that there was "not much hope" for the younger children, ages 2 and 14.
The driver, the aunt of one of the boys, was taken to Auburn Regional Medical Center.
"She is extremely distraught," police Sgt. Scott Near said. "She was able to get out. She went back into the water to try to rescue the kids."
He said firefighters were working under the assumption that the children remained in the car.
Steady rains this week have swollen many rivers in western Washington.