WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport police are investigating whether the dark, rainy conditions may have caused an out-of-state couple to get lost and end up driving into the Saugatuck River, leaving one person dead, according to the Westport News.
Police do not suspect foul play in the accident, which happened at about 7:40 p.m. Saturday, but do not know exactly how the car ended up in the cold water.
Richard Lamendola, 76, of Syosset, N.Y., was pulled from the river and pronounced dead at Norwalk Hospital, police said. The medical examiner said the cause of death was drowning.
A woman in the car, whose screams prompted 911 calls and brought first responders to scene, was pulled from the water first and survived, police said.
Detectives were examining the car’s GPS history and conducting interviews as the investigation continued, the Westport News said.
The car entered the river from from the State Boat Launch off Elaine Road, near the wastewater treatment plant under I-95 on the east side of the Saugatuck River, police said.
Patrons from the Whelk Restaurant at 575 Riverside Ave. on the opposite side of the river heard a woman screaming for help, police said. They could not see the woman, but called 911, police said.
Westport police officers and firefighters responded along with members of the Connecticut State Police, Norwalk Police and Fairfield Police. Emergency responders saw a woman struggling in the middle of the river and heading north with the current of the tidal river, police said.
Westport firefighters and police officers boarded a civilian boat they found on the side of the river and pulled the woman from the cold water, police said.
She said that a man had been in the car with her and that he was still in the water, police said.
About a half-hour later, officers saw the man farther north up the river near the Bridge Street bridge, Farrell said. The man was pulled from the water and transported to Norwalk Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Click here to read the story at the Westport News.