Emergency crews worked for several hours to retrieve a stolen car, which plunged into the river with two occupants. PHOTO: Liana Turner
Emergency crews worked for several hours to retrieve a stolen car, which plunged into the river with two occupants. PHOTO: Liana Turner

Man and woman escape stolen car after plunging into river

A MAN remains in police custody after driving a stolen car into the Rous River at Dulguigan, near Murwillumbah, on Sunday.

At about 9am on Saturday, police allege the 24-year-old was driving a Holden Astra stolen from Queensland on Dulguigan Rd when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the river. 

Police said the driver and another female occupant freed themselves from the sinking vehicle before fleeing to a rural property, nearby on Dulguigan Rd.

There police allege the man stole a Holden Rodeo utility which he crashed into an irrigation channel. 

Police claim the man then fled on foot along Dulguigan Rd before being arrested by police.

A coordinated, multi-agency search was carried out at the Rous River in search of the submerged Holden Astra.

Police held grave concerns over the possibility of unaccounted occupants in the submerged vehicle. 

About 2pm the vehicle was finally recovered by an SES officer.

The officer used a private vessel with sonar capabilities to find the car, a significant distance from where it plunged into the river. 

The joint efforts of police, SES crews, Fire and Rescue crews, (HAZMAT) a civilian's tractor and two tow truck operators saw the successful extrication of the stolen Holden Astra.

A search of the vehicle was conducted.

Multiple sets of number plates, breaking and entering implements, drug paraphernalia and items linking the car with other stolen vehicles in the area were found by police.

The driver was charged with thirteen (13) offences, including Enter Enclosed Lands, Drive Unlicensed (x2), Receiving, Receiving Property Outside NSW (x2), Negligent Driving (x2), Goods in Custody (x3), Possess Implements to Enter/Drive Conveyance, Take and Drive Conveyance without Consent.

An additional charge was submitted seeking a Bail Determination be made with respect to the matters the accused was on bail for at the time of these offences.

The accused was formally refused bail for the new offences and remains in custody.



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