3 found dead in submerged vehicle after flood recedes

Associated Press

Holt, Ala. – Three bodies were found inside a submerged vehicle in Alabama on Thursday after floodwaters receded from killer storms that included torrential rain earlier this week, authorities said.

Divers and other officers from the Tuscaloosa Police Department discovered the sport-utility vehicle in water in the Holt community, a rural area a few miles east of Tuscaloosa, police said in a statement.

In this image provided by the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Police Department, officers work at at the scene where three bodies were found in receding floodwaters on March 24, 2022, in the Holt community, a rural area a few miles east of Tuscaloosa,  Ala.

Investigators initially believed just one person was inside the vehicle, but two more bodies were found.

“The vehicle also contained a large amount of debris, mud and water,” said Capt. Jack Kennedy of the Violent Crimes Unit told news outlets.

There was no immediate word on the identities of the victims or cause of death. Photos released by police showed a diver taking pictures while standing in muddy water beside a curve in a road blocked by barriers.

The National Weather Service said more than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain fell in the area late Tuesday and Wednesday, causing flash flooding that blocked multiple roads.

The deluge that swamped central Alabama was part of an outbreak that left two people dead in Texas and Louisiana, where an EF-3 tornado with winds estimated at 160 mph slammed into the New Orleans metro area Tuesday night.