For the Reporter
A Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority rescue boat with three divers from the Valley RFA have searched the Green River but were unable to locate a vehicle, which a witness said a man drove into the waterway around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Puget Sound Fire and Kent Police were dispatched to South 259 Street and 3 Avenue South after a witness said they saw a small green car drive off the road and fall into the river, which is about 20 feet below the level of the road.
When firefighters arrived, they found a man along the bank and retrieved him. Paramedics evaluated him, and an ambulance transported him to a local hospital. He told Kent Police he was the only one in the car.
Police have confirmed that they were not in any type of pursuit with the car prior to the crash and are investigating why the man drove off the road.
The boat and divers were launched to confirm that there were no other people in the vehicle, while it could still be considered a rescue. After an hour and a half of searching without finding the car, the search was called off until daylight.
Early on, Guardian One, the King County Sheriff Office’s helicopter, saw the submerged vehicle, which still had its headlights on. They lost sight of it when the battery in the car failed. Despite having a general area to begin the search, there was no luck in finding the car, officials said.
The current in the Green River is about 4-5 mph, which is the equivalent of a person moving at a very brisk walk. According to the United States Geological Survey, the river is at a discharge rate of 3,400 feet per second. Water temperature is in the low 50s.