Los Angeles County Fire Department

Three Cars In LA River Near Washington Boulevard Bridge

It is not yet known whether the driver escaped the car, found in the LA River Tuesday morning.

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Los Angeles County Fire Department water rescue teams are attempting to recover cars found in the Los Angeles River on Tuesday morning, during heavy rainfall due to a December storm.

The fire department received a call around 5:39 a.m., about an auto rollover traffic collision.

When personnel from the LAFD arrived at the scene of the crash, they determined that the car involved may have rolled over into the LA River.

Several cars were swept away by the LA River's raging current. Two cars were stacked on top of each other and stuck against a concrete column near Washington Boulevard. Michelle Valles reports for NBCLA on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021

Around 7:30 a.m., a car was found, submerged in the LA river, under the train overpass and near the 2600 block of East Washington Boulevard.

Train operations have been shut down in the immediate area while recovery efforts are underway.

It is not yet known what kind of car is in the river, nor is it known whether the driver escaped.


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A second car became "stacked" on top of the first car sometime before 10 a.m., after it was swept away by the water toward the Washington Bridge and as the water level rose in the river.

A third car was also swept down the LA River. It was carried past the Washington Bridge and proceeded into LA County Fire Department jurisdiction.

LAFD crews attempted to get ahead of the car, staging themselves in the Downey area near Firestone Boulevard and the river.

As of 10:58 a.m., no drivers from any of the three vehicles had been located. It is unknown exactly how they ended up in the LA river.

At 1:30 p.m. LAFD said in a statement that they expect a swift water personnel rescue at the scene of the two stuck cars.

That crew planned to use a remote camera to go underwater, and make sure there were not people trapped inside the cars.

At that time, there were no reports of occupants in the vehicles.

Further down the river, in Long Beach, the third car that drifted past was moving very slowly, at speeds around one mile per hour.

50 firefighters, including marine safety personnel, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter, were near preparing near the car's location.

"We are waiting for the vehicle to become stable and for the water level to drop," LAFD said in a statement.

LA river rescuers were searching for the submerged car as of 2:42 p.m.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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