OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The search continues for the body of a 19-year-old man who drove a vehicle into Lake Hefner early Tuesday morning.
Police and fire crews are still on site looking for the body of a man officials say drove off shore and into the lake
“Right now the goal is to stay here until location,” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson of the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
Fire officials are now calling it a recovery effort. At around midnight Tuesday morning, a small hatchback was traveling these gravel roads on the west side of Lake Hefner.
“He likes to go to the lake sometimes,” said Jennifer Anderson.
Anderson says her 19-year-old son Durrell and 16 year old daughter were trapped in the car as it slid off the road and into deeper and deeper water.
“They were able to get the car open in the water. She said she went under and he went under and she seen him come back up, and then they lost each other in the water,” said Anderson.
The teen daughter told her mother she couldn’t swim and that she had to float on her back to shore. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but the 19-year-old brother was nowhere to be seen.
“I don’t know where he is at,” said Anderson.
Fire and police crews battling high winds and rain were able to located the car overnight in 4-6 feet of water. Just before noon, a wrecker was called out to drag the car 100 feet back to shore.
“We didn’t anticipate that we would find him in the vehicle, so we did thoroughly search that car once it was pulled out by the wrecker, and indeed he was not inside the car,” said Fulkerson.
Officials say they will continue to search as long as crews are not put into undue danger in the cold murky water.
“It’s just a matter of covering such a large area. It’s a big area here. It’s not swift water, but even though it’s a lake, water still moves and there are currents. For the family’s sake, we don’t want to leave someone here,” said Fulkerson.
The search was called off for the day just before 5 p.m. thanks to low-light levels. The body has not been found. Officials say it’s yet to be determined if and when the search will continue tomorrow.