Body of 5-year-old recovered from Kansas River scene

photo by: Libby Stanford

Crews pull a vehicle out of the Kansas River after a water rescue operation Friday, August 3, 2018.

The body of a 5-year-old child was recovered from the Kansas River on Saturday morning after rescue crews continued their search following a Friday afternoon incident that left a car in the river near downtown Lawrence.

The Lawrence Police Department said the child is thought to be the third and final passenger of the vehicle that was submerged in the river just west of the Kansas River bridges near Sixth and Vermont streets in downtown Lawrence.

On Friday, a 1-year-old and an adult female were rescued from the river scene. The vehicle they were thought to be in also was pulled from the river by search and recovery crews. The search and recovery operations were suspended Friday evening and resumed on Saturday morning.

A spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department said via email at about 9:15 a.m. that the recovery operations are concluding. Officials believe that all occupants of the vehicle are now accounted for.

Both the 1-year-old and the adult female were taken to an area hospital on Friday. An update on their conditions was not available, according to the Lawrence Police Department. Names of those involved also have not been released.

Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate the incident. No information on how the car ended up in the Kansas River has been released.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn

First responders in a raft probe an area in the water of the Kansas River during a rescue effort on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018.

Rescue operations began at around 1:15 p.m. Friday, according to information from the Lawrence Police Department.

At around 2 p.m., a Journal-World reporter observed at least eight water rescue workers, an inflatable watercraft and what appeared to be a tow line in the water just west of the western Kansas River bridge. About 20 emergency vehicles were also at the scene.

The site was about 30 to 40 yards off the river’s southern bank. Rescue workers, who had waded into the river, were seen probing the water under the bridge with poles and with their hands.

The department tweeted at 5:19 p.m. Friday that the dive team was in the water attempting to locate and retrieve the vehicle, and a little over an hour later, a reporter saw the vehicle being pulled out.

photo by: Sara Shepherd

Emergency responders probe the water of the Kansas River during a rescue operation on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018.

A man at the scene who said he heard the responding sirens and turned his attention to the river as emergency workers arrived told a Journal-World reporter that he saw first responders pull a woman from the water and heard the woman tell the first responders that there were two children in the car with her and that one child was still in the car.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he saw first responders pull a small child from the water and put the child in an ambulance. He said he could not tell what condition the child appeared to be in.

The Journal-World could not immediately confirm the man’s account.

Crews stopped search and recovery efforts around 8:30 p.m. on Friday because of diminishing light, and resumed operations Saturday morning.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn

Emergency vehicles gather Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, on the southern bank of the Kansas River near 500 Vermont St., where a water rescue was underway.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World Photo

Divers search the Kansas River just west of the Kansas River bridge Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in downtown Lawrence.


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