MISSOULA — Crews on Wednesday afternoon removed a man's body from a submerged vehicle in the Clark Fork River that police believe is the same vehicle witnesses reported plunging into the fast-flowing water a day earlier in Missoula
At about 2:15 p.m., the body was pulled from the vehicle and taken to shore on the back of a jet ski.
Work then shifted to removing the vehicle from the river. It was on shore about an hour later.
Recovery crews using an underwater camera confirmed Wednesday morning that the vehicle was upside-down in the water near the railroad trestle on West Broadway.
Missoula police closed a section of the road while workers use a crane and boats to remove the vehicle from the river.
The vehicle went into the water late Tuesday afternoon after an older man pulled into the parking lot of Taco John's on West Broadway, stopped and then continued forward across the lot and into the river.
He is presumed to be the person removed from the vehicle Wednesday afternoon.
Eyewitnesses saw the maroon SUV bob up and down a few times, then submerge into the river nose first near the railroad trestle.
Authorities said the body is being taken to the State Crime Lab in Missoula. His identity isn't yet known.
Missoula Police Department spokesman Travis Welsh said searchers found the vehicle submerged and upside down near a trestle about 200 yards downstream from where it entered the river.
He said a line attached to the vehicle caused it to turn right-side up with the top at the surface, and a rescuer was able get access through a window.
Welsh says it's not clear why the vehicle went into the river.