Officials Pull Car Out of Staunton River After Hours - - ABC13

Officials Pull Car Out of Staunton River After Hours


Lynch Station, VA - The Campbell County Sheriff's office has a bit of a mystery on its hands. How did a car end up in the Staunton River?

The Altavista Fire Department and a tow company finally pulled the car from the water Wednesday morning in Lynch Station.

A fisherman called it in Tuesday night around 8 p.m. The fisherman says he was in a canoe, looked down in the water and saw the windshield. He looked some more, saw the hood and called police.

The car was found near a pull off along Route 43 roughly 4 miles from the 29 intersection.

"You first think, someone has driven it in there," said Tracy Emerson, investigator for the Campbell County Sheriff's Office.

What investigators couldn't imagine is just how difficult it would be to get this car out of the water. The car was so deeply submerged, they had to send a diver in to hook it up to cables. Once the pulling began, it didn't stop.

Williamson's tow truck company spent nearly two hours pulling, adjusting and pulling some more. The weight of the car literally pulling the tow truck off the ground.

"Yeah it was quite a job," said Emerson.

As onlookers stood nearby, the rusty two-door Monte Carlo appeared.

"The only thing we know at this time is we have a vehicle that had a 2001 license plate tag on it, which tell us the vehicle could have been in there for quite some time," said Emerson.

Investigators searched the car and pried open the trunk only to find that "it was full of mud."

It was stacked all the way up to the steering wheel.

"You figure the sediment, rain and everything goes until it stops. When it gets inside a vehicle with one window down, it comes to a resting spot," said Emerson.

That explains why the car was so heavy. But for now, all investigators can do is guess how it got there. Investigator Emerson offers a theory of his own.

"About 10 years ago we had some severe flooding in the area and we had some vehicles that were washed closely to this area in some waterways, so it could possibly be something like that. We don't know at this point," said Emerson.

Williamson took the car to an impound lot in Rustburg. Investigators are now working to identify the plates and find out who it belongs to. We'll keep you updated.

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