A car carrying five young people went into the C&D canal Sunday morning, and only one of them survived.
Delaware State Police say the Chevy HHR wagon went over the banks on the south-side lower level, about a mile west of the Route 1 Bridge, around 9:40 a.m. Sunday.
Emergency responders found a 16-year-old girl, who was a passenger in the car, on the canal banks unharmed. Police say she was helped to shore by the 18-year-old driver, who went back into the water to rescue the three other boys in the car. They were 16, 12 and 6 years old. The male driver died while trying to save them, and his body was recovered from the water.
The three younger boys were still all unaccounted for, and police, fire, EMS, maritime units and dive teams quickly launched a rescue mission. When crews were able to pull the vehicle out of the water, they found the bodies of the 16 and 12-year-olds still inside. The six-year-old boy’s body was not in the vehicle and remains missing as of Tuesday.
The four victims haven’t yet been identified, but state police said all of the boys were related. Local media reports indicate the 18, 16, and 6-year-olds were brothers, and the 12-year-old a cousin. The 16-year-old girl was the girlfriend of one of the boys, according to local reports.
A GoFundMe page being shared on social media reads, “On October 6th my family’s life changed forever, we lost 4 of our young men in this unexpected accident. I will never be able to explain the pain we are experiencing right now.” So far, the GoFundMe site has raised nearly $15,000.
The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing to investigate the cause. Anyone with information about the crash should call Cpl. J. Breen of the Troop 2 Collision Reconstruction Unit by calling 302-365-8486.
-Meg Walburn Viviano