Suspect Drives Truck Into River, Then Swims To Mexico To Avoid Authorities

Friday, December 7, 2012 - 9:58am

SOUTH OF PALMVIEW - A big splash along the river really caught the attention of several people near Chimney Park. Why? Because that splash was a truck and the driver drove the vehicle into the river when trying to outrun Palmview Police and U.S. Marshals.

"This happens about once or twice a year a car will run into the water," said Bill Harris, Winter Texan.

Harris said it's not out of the norm to see a splashdown. Palmview police said they were just trying to identify the man, when he took off and took drastic measures to escape back to Mexico.

"The vehicle came off the ramp, right off the concrete. It's about 20 yards into the center of the river," said Investigator Saul Uvalle, Palmview Police.

And once submerged, the suspect began to swim away from U.S. soil.

"There were vehicles on the Mexican side waiting for the suspect to come across and they did pick him up," said Uvalle.

So that just left the truck, sinking into the river. Palmview police say it's at the bottom, which is about 45 feet below the surface.

The Mission Police Dive Team was called in, but after determining a lack of visibility and extremely strong current, the truck recovery mission was called off.

"So at this point we are not going to risk the life, human life to get this vehicle out," said Uvalle.

The truck is deep enough in the water that it won't affect the boat ramp. Harris and his wife said it made for an exciting morning, but doesn't have them feeling scared. 

"Other than that we feel safe. There is so much law enforcement and Border Patrol around, I think this is probably the safest place on the river," said Harris.

Shortly after, emergency vehicles cleared out and so did interested spectators. The river goes back to normal with border patrol keeping an eye on the now quiet, roaming river.

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