Officials in Valley County are still searching for a car and its driver after witnesses saw it plunge into the Payette River and sink.
On Saturday, June 24, 2017, around 5:30 p.m., the Valley Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received multiple calls about a vehicle driving off of Highway 55 and into the river.
Callers said that a small SUV was traveling on a straight section of the road and failed to negotiate a curve in the road. The vehicle headed straight through the curve leaving the roadway heading downhill to the river. The SUV hit a rock and went into the river.
The witnesses all said a male was struggling to exit the vehicle before it sank. None of the witnesses were able to provide identifying vehicle information.
Cascade Rural Fire/EMS, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, and the Idaho State Police responded to the area.
Sheriff Bolen requested the Cascade Dam closed to facilitate rescue/recovery operations. After hours of searching and with darkness approaching, the rescue/recovery was suspended out of concern for responder safety.
Local rafters assisted responders in an effort to locate the submerged vehicle.
Recovery efforts will resume this coming week along with lowering the river flow to assist with the recovery efforts. Safety is paramount and all efforts to protect the further loss of life will be exercised.
This crash is still under investigation by The Valley County Sheriff’s Office.