Man drives car into Detroit River, swims back out
Wyandotte — A 26-year-old Wyandotte man is undergoing a psychological evaluation after he drove his car into the Detroit River in an apparent suicide attempt early Monday, then swam out, said the city’s fire chief.
The man drove his black 2007 Mercury Montego into the river, said Capt. Mike Brandt of the Wyandotte Fire Department. But the car sank so slowly, the power to the vehicle hadn’t shorted out and he was able to lower the driver’s side window and make it to a break wall and climb out.
Soaked and freezing, the man banged on a door in the neighborhood, hoping to be let in to warm up.
“I just tried to kill myself,” the man yelled, Brandt said.
One man in the neighborhood called 911. Police arrived just before 4:20 a.m.
“Between shivering teeth, he answered a half-dozen times” questions posed by law enforcement, Brandt said.
Divers with the Downriver Underwater Search and Rescue Team went into the river at first light, said Brandt.
They scanned the river using a sonar device for “four or five hours, finding everything but a car,” Brandt said. Another two hours of searching yielded nothing.
“We’re kind of taking a step back,” Brandt said. “We’ll go in and search another day.”
Brandt credited the divers for their work.
“We are very, very good at what we do,” he said. “This was a situation where we didn’t find what we thought,” but not for lack of trying, Brandt said.
Monday’s incident was the third time in two weeks the rescue team has been activated. In one incident in Riverview, a woman pressed the gas pedal instead of the brakes and wound up in a retention pond. She survived.
Another call was a false alarm.
The man in Monday’s incident is in an area hospital and will be under an psych evaluation for the next 72 hours, Brandt said.
“As of now, he’s doing fine,” Brandt said.