Crews battle swift waters to pull man’s body and car from Susquehanna River

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A man's body was pulled from a car that was found submerged in the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg.

The car was discovered early this morning near Wiconisco Street and the 2700 block of North Front Street.

Strong river currents hindered the crews trying to pull the vehicle from the water.

Recovering the car and the man from the river was a very long and dangerous process with the safety for all involved in the operation the main concern of authorities.

"The water was a main factor in the recovery and potential rescue," said Sgt. Raymond Lyda, with the Harrisburg Police Department.

Harrisburg police, fire, and river rescue crews worked together since the call at 5:30 a.m. to pull the young man and the vehicle out of the water.

"Obviously, this was unfortunate," added Sgt. Lyda. "So, there wasn't a rescue. It was a recovery more than anything."

The car went off the road by Division Street into the river, and police say they're not quite sure yet what caused him to veer off the road into the river.

"Struck the curb and then went into the river," stated Sgt. Lyda.

According to the fire chief, the river was about 10 feet deep when crews arrived, and the car fully submerged. River rescue used poles to prod and pinpoint the car, while battling the dangerous water.

"Definitely the current. According to the fire chief, he did not want to risk anyone else's life to go in because of the swift waters," added Sgt. Lyda.

Many onlookers watched the recovery in shock. One family traveled into Harrisburg from Chester this morning to make sure it wasn't one of their loved ones.

"I don't know. There was no way to find out if it was one of our family members until we saw the car," said Catherine Martinez-Lopez.

"That's the reason why we ended up here because you don't ever know," said Zenaida Lopez.

 

Police do not have all the answers at this point and are uncertain how the car ended up at the bottom of the Susquehanna.

"There was no pursuit, whether this was an intentional act? We don't know at this point," said Sgt. Lyda.

Officers cannot say who the man is but did confirm they talked to family members at the scene. Officers say they have to interview witnesses and talk with the family to understand what happened here and why the car ended up in the river.