Christian Paz

Victim Found Inside SUV in Potomac River Identified as Fairfax County Woman

A witness called 911 after seeing the SUV enter the water

The driver found dead inside an SUV submerged in the Potomac River has been identified as a 72-year-old Fairfax County woman, Barbara Bushkin.

Crews had searched for the vehicle and its driver Sunday night and throughout Monday after receiving a 911 call reporting an SUV had crashed into the river near Roosevelt Island.

D.C. Fire & EMS said they found tire tracks leading into the river and divers were able to locate the SUV by 6 p.m. Monday. Sources confirmed to News4 later on Monday that a body was found inside.

Crews continued their effort to pull a submerged SUV with a body inside out of the Potomac River. Jackie Bensen reports.

Also on Monday afternoon, Fairfax County Police had shared a missing persons report on Bushkin, saying she had been last seen about 7:50 p.m. Sunday in the District and had been driving a 2016 black Lexus RX with Virginia tags. Police said Bushkin was endangered "due to mental and/or physical issues."

The witness who called 911 said the SUV entered the water around 9:20 p.m. that night.

Police identified the victim inside the SUV as Bushkin on Monday shortly before midnight, saying Bushkin died of injuries sustained in the crash into the river.

Crews have pulled the SUV out of the water.

One of its doors showed signs of damage.

"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."

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.

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