Divers at the scene of a fatal crash at South Ballina.
Divers at the scene of a fatal crash at South Ballina. Cathy Adams

Sad recovery: Teen girl was trapped in car 6m under water

POLICE have retrieved the body of a teenage driver whose car plunged into the Richmond River yesterday.

Emergency services were called to River Drive, South Ballina, about 11.45am yesterday following reports a silver Mazda 2 had left the road and driven into the river.

>>> PHOTOS: Desperate effort to save girl after river crash

A 17-year-old female front-seat passenger was able to escape from the vehicle, but the 17-year-old female driver remained trapped inside.

Officers from Richmond Police District, Marine Area Command, PolAir, police divers, SES, NSW Ambulance, NSW Maritime, Marine Rescue and NSW Surf Life Saving were all at the scene, working to locate and recover the driver and the vehicle.

Divers search the Richmond River at dusk for the driver of a car that plunged into the water this afternoon.
Divers search the Richmond River at dusk for the driver of a car that plunged into the water this afternoon. Cathy Adams

Three members of the public along with three police officers - one sergeant and two senior constables - jumped into the water in an attempt to search for the driver and the vehicle.

About 5.30pm, police divers arrived and retrieved the body of the teenage girl from the vehicle, which had been located 6m underwater.

The vehicle was recovered a short time later; and has been towed for mechanical examination.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

As police continue to investigate the circumstances leading up to the crash, detectives are urging any witnesses to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Lismore Detectives on 02 6626 0599.

The three civilians and three officers who all jumped in the water will be considered for formal recognition.


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