2-year-old Indiana boy drowns after mother misses 'high water sign' and drives onto a flooded road
A two-year-old Indiana boy drowned on Thursday after the toddler's mother drove into high water, allegedly missing the flood signs that were posted. The car drove to a flooded roadway before the vehicle was completely submerged in 8 ft water.
Indiana State Police said that 22-year-old Carter of Indianapolis, was driving her 2003 Chevrolet Impala in Wabash County with her two-year-old son, Eric Long, in the car. According to the press release, Anthonette Carter was traveling eastbound on County Road 925 and authorities stated that she missed a high-water sign that warns drivers of potential flooding because of heavy rains that had hit the area in recent days.
"Carter allegedly did not see the sign and drove into floodwater which had completely covered the road," the State Police said in a news release.
After the vehicle entered the water, the car was carried to the north side of the road by the water’s current and the Impala eventually submerged. While Carter was able to escape the vehicle when rescued by officers from the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department, her two-year-old son, Long, did not make it out of the submerged Impala.
She was struggling and reportedly did not know how to swim so despite her attempt to rescue her son, she was not able to do so.
Indiana conservation divers traced the Impala submerged in approximately eight feet of water and with the assistance of a local towing company, the vehicle was recovered. It was then that the toddler's body was recovered.
The devastating accident has been a wakeup call for public safety experts, who said the tragedy can serve as an important safety lesson. Drivers should not ignore the warning signs and should not drive through high water.
"Sometimes people do drive through and sometimes people make it but the overwhelming risk is the fact that you could lose your life," said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.
With constant rainfall over the past few weeks, police all over the state have responded to multiple calls for water rescues after drivers got trapped by rushing waters.
"The message is the same, turn around and don’t drown. If you see water across the road, it’s not safe to drive into it. Unfortunately, it seems like we’re constantly reminded of the tragic consequences of people not reading those warnings."
Authorities are investigating.