Washed away: Flooding leaves SUV submerged in creek

Friday, March 27, 2015
A sport utility vehicle rests upside down in Leatherwood Creek on Thursday morning after apparently being swept off Highway 187 by fast-moving water Wednesday night. Because the creek was high and the water was moving very quickly, emergency personnel were unable to reach the SUV as of Thursday afternoon. (David F. Dempsey/Carroll County News)

Emergency personnel were on the scene Thursday afternoon after a white sport utility vehicle was located in Leatherwood Creek between Elk Ranch and Holiday Island.

Authorities were notified at about 8 p.m. Wednesday that a vehicle had washed into the creek from Highway 187 after heavy rains caused flash flooding in the area.

Emergency responders searched through the night but were unable to locate the vehicle in deep, fast-moving waters.

Holiday Island Fire Chief Jack Deaton, center, and other emergency services personnel discuss plans for accessing a submerged vehicle in Leatherwood Creek on Thursday morning. The vehicle had been in the water for more than 12 hours and was spotted only after water levels began dropping Thursday morning. (David F. Dempsey/Carroll County News)

With water levels dropping after daylight Thursday, the vehicle was spotted, upside down in the creek with little more than its tires visible above the water, which was still moving too fast to allow access to the vehicle. Carroll County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Maj. George Frye said Thursday morning that the vehicle possibly was occupied by several people, although that could not be confirmed by press time.

"We've had a search team trying to ascertain if there are victims in the vehicle, or victims in other places," said Drenda Higdon of the Holiday Island Fire Department.

Higdon said water conditions were hindering efforts to reach the vehicle.

"The water is very high, and it's very fast and it's very dirty," Higdon said. "And the vehicle is lodged in some debris from the road."

Holiday Island Fire Chief Jack Deaton, who led the search effort, was on the scene Thursday along with other emergency personnel including Holiday Island firefighters, CCSO deputies and members of the SORT team.

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