Four Dead, One Missing, Two Hurt After SUV Plunges into AL River

Four Dead, One Missing, Two Hurt After SUV Plunges into AL River

BEN BENTON ON DEC 14, 2016

SOURCE: MCCLATCHY

Dec. 14–Four people are dead, two are hospitalized and another is still missing this morning after a car plunged into the Coosa River in Leesburg, Ala., Tuesday night.

Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver said the seven people riding in a Kia SUV around 7 p.m. CST Tuesday apparently were unfamiliar with the roads surrounding the small town in Cherokee County, Ala., after dark.

“They took a wrong turn and ran off the end of the boat ramp,” Shaver said this morning.

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The group in the Kia apparently drove out to the end of Riverside Street where the road to Leesburg Landing dead ends into a boat ramp and a tight loop that passes very near the shoreline of the Coosa River.

Shaver said two of the passengers were pulled to safety but four others have been confirmed dead.

Shaver said the two survivors of the incident were able to talk to state police and first responders who got to the scene not long after their vehicle went into the river.

Search teams are looking for the seventh person still missing.

Leesburg police and fire, the Cherokee County Rescue Squad and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are continuing to investigate the accident.

Shaver declined to say where the Kia was from and said the victims’ names won’t be released until the next of kin has been notified. The county coroner will make that announcement, he said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

Copyright 2016 – Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.news-story