No victims found in car that crashed into Cedar Creek

UPDATED: Sunday, Mar. 10, 11 a.m.

See Original Story, photos, and video below.

ROUND MOUNTAIN — California Highway Patrol officers investigating the discovery of a wrecked car that was found in Cedar Creek off of SR-299E announced Friday morning, Mar. 9, that no victims were found inside the small sedan.

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The car, described as a silver four-door with a Philadelphia Eagles sticker in the back window, was spotted submerged in the rushing and rain-swollen creek last Wednesday morning. Because of the car’s precarious position near the middle of the creek, officials were initially unable to recover the submerged vehicle, which was seen with water rushing over the top of its roof.

No victims were found to be inside a vehicle that crashed into Cedar Creek last week. KRCR photo

CHP also updated that despite earlier reports that the vehicle had been reported stolen, the registered owner – an elderly Montgomery Creek woman – later clarified that while she reported the car missing it had not been stolen and was being driven by the woman’s boyfriend at the time of the crash.

According to CHP, the car owner’s boyfriend eventually contacted them and admitted he had crashed the car into the creek, but was able to safely get out of the vehicle. He also said he was the only occupant and that nobody else had been with him when the crash occurred.

It was not immediately known why the man did not report the crash, or if CHP is now investigating the incident as a solo-vehicle hit and run.

As of this report, it was also not clear if the car was able to be recovered, and various reports have indicated the sedan was possibly swept further downstream before officials could conclude their recovery efforts.

When contacted for an update, CHP provided no further details, saying their investigation was ongoing.


Original Story: Recovery efforts continuing after stolen car found in Cedar Creek

ROUND MOUNTAIN — Reports indicate recovery efforts are continuing today after a small, 4-door vehicle was found in Cedar/Cow Creek along Highway 299E yesterday morning. The submerged car was discovered just a stone’s throw away from the Cedar Creek bridge, between Bear Gulch Quarry and Cedar Creek Rd. Officials investigating the discovery learned the vehicle, which is registered to a Montgomery Creek woman, had been reported stolen from the area several days earlier.

Due to the creek’s unsafe and rapidly changing conditions, as well as the car’s unstable and precarious position within the swollen creek, officials yesterday were initially unable to make access to the car or begin recovery efforts. As of this report, it was not yet known if anyone is inside the vehicle, which appeared to have been involved in a collision, according to CHP.

Yesterday’s discovery comes just days after a body was found in Burney Creek last Saturday night. The victim’s body was recovered the next morning by Shasta County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and Dive Team members. Although the victim’s body was recovered Sunday morning, the person remains unidentified as of this report.

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CHP officers and Burney sheriff’s deputies, along with Cal Fire and other emergency personnel, were first alerted to the situation around 7 a.m. yesterday morning, when a passing motorist spotted the vehicle submerged in the rapidly flowing water and called 911.

Video shot from the scene of yesterday’s rescue and recovery efforts by KRCR’s Courtney Kreider, showed a barely visible car, described as a silver sedan with a Philadelphia Eagles sticker in the back window, in the middle of the creek, near the confluence of Cedar and Cow Creeks. Water levels were so high at the time, water could be seen rushing over the small car’s roof.

Recovery efforts are continuing after a car was found submerged in Cedar Creek yesterday morning. Courtney Kreider/KRCR News image

Shasta County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue Team and Dive Team members – who are trained in swift water rescues – were summoned to the scene, to determine if it was safe enough to attempt a vehicle recovery. However, due to high water levels in the area of the swollen creek where the car was discovered, officials were not able to access or recover the vehicle at that time.

“The vehicle appears to have been involved in a collision. We’re not sure if that occurred today or if it occurred in the last several days,” CHP Sgt Annie Garcia later reported. “Ultimately, it’s so submerged in water and the water is so rapid, we unfortunately can’t go in to see in the vehicle right now.”

While officers and other officials worked at the scene, they called for the temporary closure of part of the winding, two-lane mountain highway and one-way traffic control was implemented past the accident scene to ensure the safety of officials in the area.

According to Garcia, CHP, Cal Fire, and other officials, will continue monitoring the water levels until they determine it is safe enough to access the submerged car and conduct a vehicle recovery.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Courtney Kreider/KRCR News images

Courtney Kreider/KRCR News video

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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