BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A car that plunged into the Black Warrior River in Greene County has been recovered, but authorities are still searching for one of its passengers.
Officials say a Dodge Challenger went off a boat ramp on County Road 53, broke through a guardrail and went into the water on Sunday night. Family members identified the two people inside the car as 42-year-old Kevin Gray and his brother Brian Smith. Only one of the brothers, Smith, made it ashore.
"He swam from the river. He somehow got on the roadway, which is County Road 53 where we're standing now. I think some by-passers picked him up," Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison said.
Nearly two hours passed between the time the car hit the water and Smith was able to find help. Multiple agencies searched the Black Warrior River on Monday, but still have not found any sign of Gray. Dive teams from Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue assisted in the search.
Family members at the scene are holding out hope, but as more time passes, so do feelings for a good outcome.
The brothers' uncle, Eddie Pippen, was on the river banks Monday along with other family members.
"All of a sudden, she asked me, real stressful, 'Eddie, Eddie.' I knew something was wrong. She said, 'Brian and Kevin have had an accident. And it don't sound good and it sounds like one of them may be dead,'" Pippen said.
Sheriff Benison said Brian Smith has a spinal injury and bruises, but he's in stable condition. Meanwhile, crews continue to search for his brother.
"We're in recovery stage now. We're trying to retrieve that individual," Sheriff Benison said.
The car was recovered late Monday afternoon. Crews were able to pull it out of the river. The search for Kevin Gray will resume on Tuesday morning.