Friday 23 March 2018

Elderly woman dies as car rolls into river while waiting to board ferry

AN elderly woman has died after the car she was travelling in rolled into a river while waiting to board a ferry.

The vehicle is thought to have run down the slipway after the driver, believed to be her husband, got out to take photographs.


Two dogs that were also in the car are believed to have died after it plunged into the River Fal near Truro, Cornwall yesterday afternoon.


Crew members from the King Harry ferry raised the alarm after hearing a large splash before the car sank rapidly to 25ft beneath the surface of the water.


Police, lifeboats, civilian divers and a Royal Navy helicopter were scrambled to launch a rescue attempt. The car was raised two hours later and the body of the woman, believed to be 76, recovered inside.


One eyewitness claimed that the man behind the wheel, thought to be in his 70s, had got out of the vehicle to take photographs at the picturesque setting.


It was around 4pm when the red car rolled forward and, after another car in front of it got out of the way, ended up in the deep water by the slipway.


Matt Vernon, 36, a local diver, plunged into the murky, freezing water to try to save the woman from the car.


He said: “I had been told there was possibly someone in the car so each dive was possibly trying to get the car open or smash a window but to no avail.


“At one point I got down to one side and noticed the window was wide open so the car was completely flooded and I couldn’t get in it because of the depth and the cold.”


In a statement, the operators of the King Harry Ferry said the car went into the water when the ferry was at the Feock side of the river.


“Just after 6pm the emergency services pulled the car from the water. Tragically, they recovered the body of an elderly lady. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the friends and family of everyone involved in this tragedy.”


A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: "The vehicle was recovered from the water and the elderly female passenger has been recovered from the vehicle.


“Unfortunately the female was pronounced dead at the scene. The male driver was not in the vehicle at the time of the car entering the water and is unharmed at this time.”


- John-Paul Ford Rojas,

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