Police said a reckless driver drove his sport utility vehicle into the Corpus Christi Bay on Shoreline Blvd., at the Lawrence St. T-Head Sunday night.
Luckily, the five people inside the vehicle were able to get out safely, and without any injuries. Marina officials estimated the damages to be more than $4,000, as the driver jumped the curb, hit some concrete, broke through some guard rails and landed in the bay.
Just before midnight, the driver of the Ford Expedition drove into the water at the Lawrence Street T-Head. The driver and his four passengers, one as young as 14-years old, were all able to get out safely.
"Very lucky. I know certain situations in the past, they have not escaped out of it," Marina Specialist Clayton Williams said. "Just from accidents and just driving into the water, it's a panic situation. The car starts filling up, with no way of getting out of the vehicle."
Police said the driver and his passengers all had a different version of the story, a dog in the road, or a pelican in the road, but surveillance video of the accident showed the SUV driving from side-to-side, possibly chasing another vehicle.
"I believe their estimated speed was between 30-40 miles an hour," Marina Superintendent Peter Davidson said. "The speed here is 15 miles and hour. It was just excessive."
Since it was not a rescue situation, and only a recovery, the dive team started bright and early Monday morning. They slid flotation buoys into the SUV, pumped them full of air, and brought the vehicle up. The SUV was then towed to the boat ramp and hauled out of the water.
Authorities said this is the safest way to bring the SUV out.
"It keeps the vehicle in stable position, where it doesn't cause any environmental damage," Williams said. "It's probably better than a crane out, where it goes inverted where possibly some oil could get into the marina."
The three-hour process captured the attention of dozens of spectators, some not so happy about the wasted police resources.
"They should be out here doing it," spectator Thomas Beagle said. "It's their mistake. Their mess."
The driver did receive a citation for reckless driving, and two of the youngest passengers, a 16-year old girl and a 14-year old boy, may also be getting tickets for violating city curfew.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.