GALLIPOLIS — Area residents know on the bottom of the Ohio River fish, driftwood, trash and rocks can be discovered and this weekend sunk right beside those rocks, was a truck.
According to Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer, the truck’s sinking in the river is being investigated as part of a reported domestic dispute.
Gallipolis residents Willie and Emily Lester had visited the Gallipolis Public Use Area near the City Park Saturday evening to fish with their children as part of Ohio’s free fishing weekend. Reportedly, the truck sank between 8:30 and 8:40 p.m.
“Soon as we turned around the truck was right there and I looked at my husband and said call the cops. There’s a truck in the river,” said Emily. “I ran because I was afraid someone was in it. I was going to jump in and see if anyone was there but soon as I got (near the truck) I could see a bit in it. There was nobody in the seat. We didn’t see anybody around and it never went splash. You’d think you’d hear that?”
The family had just arrived to start fishing when they noticed the truck on the public access boat ramp was sinking into the river.
“It was like they just pulled it into the water and we don’t know where they went,” said Willie. “It had the headlights and brake lights on and the tail lights.”
“We just wanted to fish with our family and have time together,” said Emily.
Both witnesses said the truck floated in the water for a time out and down the river a few yards before finally sinking below the surface.
Gallia Sheriff’s Office divers did not enter the water that evening as no victims had been reported and water conditions were hazardous for diving investigators. A boat and crew investigated the scene around 11 a.m. Sunday morning for a few hours before discovering the truck’s exact location. Towing companies set to work as spectators gathered to watch the truck be retrieved from the water after divers attached cable to it. The sheriff’s office assisted Gallipolis police as the office maintains aquatic equipment.
Boyer said charges may be potentially forthcoming as the case is reviewed further.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.