Emergency crews searched for a vehicle in a pond in south suburban Lynwood for several hours amid freezing temperatures on Sunday afternoon.
Around 12:30 p.m., first responders were called to the 3000 block of Lincoln Highway (US Route 30), between Torrence Ave and IL-83, for reports of a car with at least two occupants that had driven off the road and into a retention pond, according to the Lynwood Fire Department.
The dive team was deployed and multiple agencies assisted in the search efforts, including the Cook County Sheriff's office, Chicago Police and the Chicago Fire Department, who sent a helicopter.
About two hours into the search, crews found the vehicle approximately thirty feet underwater, officials said, but were unable to retrieve it or locate the unknown number of occupants.
“Unfortunately at this point, we haven’t been able to get the car out of the water,” Lynwood Fire Chief John Cobb said at a news conference Sunday evening. “We have more questions, as everyone does, than we have answers. We can tell you that the car is still there, it’s buried in silt up to the doors. We cannot see the license plate to do any tracking of the vehicle.”
Crews faced difficulties in the search, as wind chill values brought air temperatures below zero. A police officer and a diver were taken to an area hospital and treated for exposure, Cobb said.
Lincoln Highway was closed for the duration of the search efforts, which were suspended around 5 p.m. after divers attempted to attach a tow line to the car, but were unsuccessful due to the murky water conditions.
The search is expected to resume Monday morning, officials said, and authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash.