Public Safety

Car that went into Cedar River still under investigation; woman has not been interviewed

No date for vehicle recovery scheduled

Emergency personnel from Cedar Rapids Fire Department and Johnson County Emergency Management dive team work to locate and recover a vehicle near Mohawk park boat ramp in Cedar Rapids on Monday, March 12, 2018. The car was submerged Sunday evening, March 11, and the occupants, a woman and two children, were receiving medical care according to information released by the city of Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Emergency personnel from Cedar Rapids Fire Department and Johnson County Emergency Management dive team work to locate and recover a vehicle near Mohawk park boat ramp in Cedar Rapids on Monday, March 12, 2018. The car was submerged Sunday evening, March 11, and the occupants, a woman and two children, were receiving medical care according to information released by the city of Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Authorities are still investigating how a car with a woman and two children wound up in the Cedar River earlier this month.

Cedar Rapids police and fire officials responded to a report of a car in the river near the Mohawk boat ramp, 101 J Ave. NE, at 4:44 p.m. March 11. Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said boaters on the river pulled the woman and children from the sinking car and assisted them on the their ski boats. When authorities arrived on the scene, the woman and children were still on the boats, which had been pulled onto the ramp, Buelow said.

The woman and children were taken to a local hospital for treatment. The following day, local authorities — along with the Johnson County Metro Dive Team — unsuccessfully tried to search for the car.

Buelow said Monday that the woman involved remains in the hospital and investigators are still hoping to speak with her.

“There has been a thorough investigation up to this point,” Buelow said. “We’re continuing to work with the county attorney and we’ll determine, based on the investigation, whether any criminal charges are applicable.”

Buelow said at this point, no date has been scheduled to make another attempt at recovering the car. Buelow said any attempts would have to weigh the safety of firefighters and dive team members versus the evidentiary value of the vehicle, which has decreased in the past week.

“The evidentiary value would have been to get the module out of the vehicle that would have ascertained the speed of the vehicle when it went into the water,” he said. “At this point, with the vehicle being in the water as long as it has been, the evidentiary value has probably diminished.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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