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2 dead, 1 injured after car crashes into Potomac River

Car crashes into Potomac River; 1 occupant escapes, others possibly trapped inside vehicle. (ABC7 photo)

Two people are dead after a car careened out of control and plunged into the Potomac River Saturday evening.

Yellow police tape was still on the ground Sunday and the concrete was scraped at the exact spot the silver Hyundai hit the water.

"I was coming around here last night and there was just cop cars all the way down there all the way up over to here," said John Folstrom, who was riding his bike near the scene of the accident.

According to U.S. Park Police, the car was driving north on Ohio Drive near Parkway Drive around 10:40 p.m. Saturday. The driver lost control and ended up in the river. A passenger managed to swim to shore and told authorities the driver and another passenger were trapped inside.

DC Fire & EMS and multiple agencies from around the area searched the water for hours.

Fielder, a highly specialized K9 with Virginia Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue in Fairfax County, was called in and put on a boat. He picked up an odor from under the water and was able to pinpoint where the car went under.

ABC7 News profiled Fielder and his handler, Sally Dickinson, in 2014 after they helped find the remains of Hannah Graham, the UVA student who went missing in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Fielder underwent years of training and he is trained to find human remains under water.

"To be able to finalize that process for the family is immensely rewarding," said Dickinson, during an interview two years ago.

In this case, with Fielder's help, dive teams found the driver and another passenger, but they were dead inside the car.

The Hyundai was lifted out around 3 a.m. Sunday. The passenger side of the car sustained heavy damage and the windshield was smashed.

Locals like Steve Bromberg went to the scene Sunday morning and looked out at the water in disbelief.

"I couldn't visualize how it would have happened so I just wanted to walk down and see how it would have happened," Bromberg said.

The names of victims were not released.

Sources said the sole survivor, who was also not identified, was taken to George Washington University Hospital in serious condition.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. U.S. Park Police is asking anyone with information to contact detectives at (202) 610-8730.

This story has been updated.


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