1 dies, 3 rescued after car crashes into river during police chase

1 dies, 3 rescued after car crashes into river during police chase
The car was pulled out of the water Thursday night at Gold Star Park in Wetumpka.

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis confirmed a body was found after a car with multiple people inside crashed into the Coosa River Thursday night.

Law enforcement said a vehicle drove into the river at Gold Star Park during a police chase.

“Earlier this evening our agents were conducting a surveillance operation and as a result of that operation we did come in contact with an individual that took off from us,” said Alabama Department of Corrections Director of Investigations and Intelligence Arnaldo Mercado. “We were engaged in a vehicle pursuit, which ended over here at the park.”

Multiple people were inside, including a toddler.

“I was sitting on a picnic table with three of my friends, and we heard sirens and the next thing we know, we seen a car come and they slammed on brakes, but the car didn’t stop on time and they went into the river,” said bystander Anna Robbins.

Robbins said one of her friends took off running towards the river after they saw the car crash.

“There was a lady screaming, ‘My baby! My baby! My baby!’ and when all of us heard a baby, we all took off into the water,” said Robbins.

The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office said the toddler, a woman and a man were rescued.

Wetumpka police officials said those who were rescued were transported to Baptist Medical Center East.

Alabama State Troopers, the Wetumpka Police Department, Montgomery Fire/Rescue and the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team were on the scene.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to indicate four people in the vehicle, not five as initially believed. ADOC says there were two men (one of whom died), one woman, and a 2-year-old child. Charges have since been filed in this case.

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