Crews continue search for 5-year-old in icy river

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Crews on Saturday were using sonar to search the bottom of the Colorado River for a car and a 5-year-old girl that disappeared in the icy water south of Moab.

The car, with a Colorado family inside, plunged down a 60-foot canyon and fell into the river Friday afternoon.

The driver, Evelyn M. Maestas, 60, of Mancos, Colo., and her adopted daughter, Tori, 11, were able to escape through a broken window and get out of the river, highway officials said. They told authorities they saw Maestas' granddaughter, 5-year-old Danica, also of Mancos, Colo., still inside the Nissan as it sank.

Crews searched for the car and the girl on Friday. They resumed early Saturday, walking the river's shoreline and using the sonar technology, Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, a Utah Highway Patrol spokesman, told The Associated Press. The sonar, attached to a boat on the surface, provides underwater images of the river bottom.

By Saturday afternoon the sonar crew had covered about mile of the murky river. One of the problems is that the river bottom is strewn with large boulders, Nigbur said.

Crews also don't know how much air the car had in it -- which would allow it to move farther down the river -- or if it sank quickly, he said.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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