SUV pulled out of Ohio River after 5 days


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – An SUV that went into the Ohio River near the English Park boat ramp has been pulled out of the river. The vehicle went into the water Sunday night.

A 3-year-old and a 1-year-old were pulled to safety by their father, Harley Day, and some bystanders after the SUV rolled into the river. Owensboro Police say the two children went underwater briefly before they were rescued. This happened Sunday night at English Park when the Day family was getting ready to watch the fireworks show on the Owensboro riverfront.

Lost in the Ohio River just days ago is a Mercury Mountaineer, belonging to Day, firefighters and dive teams wanted to be found.

“We wanted to be able to get the vehicle out as soon as we could,” said Battalion Chief Colter Tate of the Owensboro Fire Dept.

“A real big sense of relief came over me,” said Day, referring to learning about the SUV being pulled out of the water.

It was a sense of relief for Day and his family, while other emotions surfaced standing near where it happened last Sunday.

“It’s a little hard coming down here at first to see everything about to,” he says. “With everything about to happen just now, It’s a lot.”

Firefighters used sonar to confirm the location of the SUV before divers hooked tow cables to the vehicle that sat several feet deep. It was done as part of training between Owensboro and Henderson firefighters, plus Tri-State Towing. It was one of two vehicles tate say they detected this morning. No official word on how long the other was in the river.

“A lot of times, we don’t have vehicles that go into the water or if they do go into the water, we’re able to retrieve them, pretty quickly, but most of the time, we don’t have too many vehicles going into the water,” he said.

The SUV was towed back to the boat ramp just after noon. Day says his focus now turns to trying to get another vehicle, but is glad and heartbroken his old one was salvaged.

“It’s definitely heartbreaking to see,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of memories in that truck, and just to see it in the state that it’s in, it’s bringing a tear to my eye.”

Day also tells us he expects his insurance to be able to cover at least some of the cost of removing the SUV from the river.

(This story was originally published on July 9, 2021)

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