Man dead after car plunges into Anacostia River

SOUTHEAST, DC, (WUSA9) -- One man is dead after his car plunged into the Anacostia River in SE D.C. Despite many attempts to save the man in the sinking car the man died.

It happened around 8 a.m. Sunday morning near Nicholson Street and Anacostia Drive under the Sousa Bridge.

Alisha Jamison and her two friends were on their morning walk on a beautiful Sunday morning.

"People were out exercising, preparing for cookouts, it was a joyful feeling," Jamison said.

But that feeling suddenly turned to terror.

"I couldn't believe it was such a quiet morning. It completely caught us off guard," said Jamison.

"We saw a car veer off and drive off the main road and into the water. It seemed like it accelerated into the river. That was the hardest thing to watch. Like, is this really happening,"

A U.S. Park Police officer also saw what others couldn't believe was happening. He jumped into the Anacostia River and swam toward the sinking car, with the driver still inside.

"I saw the Park Police officer take off his clothes and he had a rescue floatie but the car was starting to go head down into the water," said Jamison.

Police don't know why the driver drove into the Anacostia River. Police say he was first on Nicholson Street, turned on Anacostia Road and then went into the water.

"The person wasn't screaming or opening the window, he just looked like he was sitting there calmly," said Jamison.

Witnesses say the driver seemed to be conscious while in the car but they couldn't be sure.

D.C. Police poured every resource into trying to save the man. Harbor Police and its dive team, Park Police and Fire Rescue tried their best efforts. But the car remained submerged for some time before they could get to the person inside.

Eventually the driver was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"I pray for the family who has this loved one because it was such a crazy moment, " said Jamison.


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