Stolen vehicle unable to be removed from Yakima River

A stolen vehicle was found partially submerged in the Yakima River last week just upstream from the Wapato Diversion Dams.

Authorities investigated reports of a white SUV at the location and found a Toyota 4Runner was grounded on a point of land between two dams.

Yakima County Sheriff's deputies report that the vehicle may have been driven or pushed into the river approximately half a mile upstream from Century Landing and floated downstream to its current location.

Deputies looked into the vehicle's registration information and discovered the vehicle was reported stolen in Yakima.

The owner of the vehicle and the insurance company were contacted.

Because the water level in the river has risen due to snow melt, and because of strong currents, officials say it is too dangerous to remove the vehicle from its present location.

"It has been deemed too dangerous to risk the lives of water rescue personnel along with the tow truck personnel to make an attempt to hook to the vehicle to get it out of the water," said Deputy Scot Swallow of the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.

He said the river water level will be monitored and when it is safe to remove the vehicle from the river, arrangements will be made to complete the recovery.

"This may be several weeks from now," said Swallow.


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