11-Week-Old Boy Found Dead in Submerged Car After His Mother Drove into Floodwaters in West Virginia
An 11-week-old boy was found dead in a submerged car on Friday in West Virginia after his mother drove into deep floodwaters, authorities said.
The infant's mother managed to escape but was not able to remove the child from a car seat before the vehicle was carried away by the rising water at approximately 8:30 a.m., the Fayette County Sheriff's Department told multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press and MetroNews.
Sheriff Mike Fridley said the distraught mother called 911 to report that the infant was missing in a car in the small town of Pax, located in the southern part of the state.
The vehicle was located about six hours later, under water that had depths of up to 18 feet, Fridley said. The body of the infant was found inside.
"Muddy water made visibility near zero, hindering first responders and their ability to search," the sheriff's department said, according to MetroNews, which noted that a swift water team used sonar equipment to locate the car.
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Investigators determined that the woman did not realize how deep the water was when she attempted to drive through the flooded area, according to the AP.
"We cannot stress enough, the importance of not driving through flood waters," Fridley said, according to the news outlet. "Water depth is very hard to judge, as well as it is hard to judge the speed of moving water."
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The flooding occurred after thunderstorms rolled through the area, dumping about 3 inches of rain in a short period of time in parts of West Virginia, the AP reported.
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The Fayette County Sheriff's Department Facebook page was deleted Saturday because of negative comments were added to a post about the incident, which remains under investigation, WCHS 8 reported.
"People are just rude and uncaring, and I'm sorry," Fridley said in a video posted to the page before it was taken down.
"I'm praying for the family, praying for first responders," the sheriff added. "It's just a terrible, terrible thing, but as of two o'clock, there will be no more Fayette County Facebook page."