Christian Paz

Crews Search for SUV Submerged in Potomac River Near Roosevelt Island

It was unclear if anyone was inside the vehicle when it entered the river

A search and rescue effort has transitioned into a recovery effort for an SUV that apparently drove into the Potomac River on Sunday night, sparking a large search effort. 

It remains unknown whether anyone was inside the vehicle when it entered the water.

A witness called 911 about 9:20 p.m. Sunday and reported that an SUV drove into the river near Roosevelt Island. The witness said he or she heard a splash and saw the vehicle floating in the water. D.C. Fire & EMS said they found tire tracks leading into the river.

Boats, divers and land units were deployed to search for the SUV, which may have drifted with the current.

"There is the possibility if this vehicle is in the water that it could have floated some distance," Vito Maggiolo of D.C. Fire said Sunday night. "That is a possibility we're exploring. The Coast Guard was going to do some modeling for us based on current patterns in the river to see where in fact that vehicle could have ended up."

U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Park Police and Metropolitan Police were all assisting with the search. A helicopter was also searching the area.

"We don't know what the circumstances are here, how the car came to get into the water," Maggiolo said Sunday night. "But that's going to be part of a law enforcement investigation."

A water search is underway after an SUV was reported to be submerged in the Potomac River near Roosevelt Island. Divers and helicopters are being used to find the car. News4's Aimee Cho reports.

D.C. Fire told News4 on Sunday night that after more than an hour of combing through the area, the operation would switch from search and rescue to search and recover.

Recovery efforts were suspended overnight and resumed early Monday.

"The likelihood of recovering somebody who's still alive at this point would be highly unlikely," Maggiolo said.

Stay with News4 for updates to this developing story.

Contact Us