Car takes icy plunge into Mon River; 2nd attempt at removal Friday

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BRADDOCK, Pa. —

A car took an icy plunge into the Monongahela River Thursday afternoon, and luckily the driver was not inside at the time.

As of Friday morning, the vehicle remained in the water. Crews attempted to remove the car from the frigid river, but strong currents forced the efforts to be called off.

Fisherman Kevin Haynes spends many afternoons on the river, but when he went to leave Thursday, he said his vehicle didn't cooperate.

"I put it in reverse and heard a popping noise. I put it back in park to check out what it was, and when I stepped out of the vehicle, it just took off right down into the river,” he said.

Haynes’ Dodge Durango plunged into the icy Mon and settled underneath barges.

Backhoes cleared debris and ice at the 11th Street boat launch, while the Blawnox and Crescent Township dive teams moved in their equipment. A tugboat that just happened to be passing by graciously moved the barges so the divers could have better access.  But the curents in the river proved to be too much and the operation was stopped.

“Because of the undertow and current, it makes it extremely dangerous for the diver. He lost a fin while he was there and that’s when we aborted. Once he lost his fin he couldn’t control himself or where he was going,” said the chief. 

Medics ushered a diver into an ambulance so he could get warm.  

The Coast Guard is expected to return to the area Friday.