CHICAGO (CBS) — A man’s body was recovered from a vehicle that was pulled from a pond in south suburban Lynwood today, authorities said.
Authorities first tried to retrieve the car Sunday, but cold conditions forced them to discontinue their efforts until Monday morning. Fire officials had to saw the surface of the frozen pond today.
Lynwood Fire Chief John Cobb said a witness saw a sedan crash into a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District retention pond along Lincoln Highway early Sunday afternoon. That witness also told investigators someone surfaced, called for help, then went back under.
It took divers about two hours to find the car, which was upside down, covered in murky silt, about 60 to 70 feet from where it went into the pond, about 30 feet underwater. At that point, the rescue effort turned to a recovery operation.
“With the water temperature, there was no chance of survival,” Cobb said.
Cobb said driving conditions were not hazardous around 12:15 p.m. Sunday, when the car went into the water. He also said there have been conflicting reports about how many people were in the sedan.
“Unfortunately, at this point, we haven’t been able to get the car out of the water. We have more questions – as everyone does – than we have answers,” Cobb said. “We have conflicting stories of why it went in the water, how it went in the water, and how many people are in it.”
The search was suspended around 5 p.m. The cold weather and icy water created major problems for divers and their gear.
“It’s a dangerous operation,” Cobb said. “The biggest problem today was a combination of the equipment freezing and the impact that it had on the individual.”
Officials resumed their recovery efforts Monday morning.