Two Dead after Pickup Plunges into TX River

Jan. 17, 2020
Two people were found dead inside a pickup pulled from the Trinity River early Friday in Fort Worth after firefighters were unable to get to the vehicle.

Two people were found dead inside of a pickup truck that was pulled from the Trinity River early Friday after one civilian and several firefighters were unable to get to the vehicle, authorities said.

The victim’s identities weren’t released.

A heavy duty wrecker tow truck lifted the large dually truck out of the water, police said. Mike Drivdahl, a Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman, said firefighters responded around 2:30 a.m. Friday to a report of a vehicle that left the roadway and went into the river. The truck, he said, was underneath the North University Bridge in the 600 block of North University Drive.

When firefighters arrived, he said, a civilian was in the water, trying to find where the truck was in the water. They had to pull the individual, who was exhausted and experiencing hypothermic conditions, from the water, he said.

MedStar medics treated him for hypothermia and gave him their own dry clothes, according to a MedStar spokesman. He didn’t need to be transported to the hospital.

Firefighters did a preliminary search of the water, Drivdahl said, but were unable to get to the vehicle, at which point a dive team made up of four people went into the water. They became confident, with the passing time, that it would be a recovery operation, not a rescue, he said.

Roughly an hour and a half after firefighters first arrived, a wrecker tow truck with a large crane pulled the pickup truck from the water, Drivdahl said. Photos from Star-Telegram media partner WFAA-TV (Channel 8) show the pickup with long wires attached to it slowly emerging from the water next to a concrete wall.

“With the assistance of a large wrecking truck,” Drivdahl said, “(firefighters) were able to hook it up to the crane.”

Several witnesses had seen the truck in the water early Friday, and they believed the truck had been racing, police said. Police couldn’t say anything else about the incident but noted officers are investigating what led to the truck ending up in the water.

WFAA-TV reported a passerby saw the truck go off of the North University Bridge and called 911.


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